You've Been Warned!- 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time

The angry and judgemental God is ever-present today, but I will be the first to admit that is a label we humans put on God. It is NOT how God operates.



The prophet Amos condemns the people who are taking advantage of the poor. There is a frequent economic exercise of amassing wealth by taking advantage of the poor through the suppression of wages and subverting education to keep destitute from learning better and doing better. We can witness this in the United States economy, especially when you look at the strike going on with General Motors and the United Auto Workers of America. I won't go deeper into that subject, but St. Paul will!


Paul advises us to do the simplest thing first, which is to pray. But prayer is not always the easiest thing to do. Sincere prayer in which you listen to God is a struggle for, I'd guess, Ninety percent of Christians. I am a person who prays throughout my day in the most casual of ways. Almost conversational like with God, but that's my way and not a prescribed formula we tend to adhere too.


I will paraphrase St. Paul for a moment: " Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. Our Savior God, wants us to live in this way." How appropriate?! Being an election year, we have to pray for the candidates and current president (yes my skin crawls as I type this).



Paul dissuades us from shaking our fists angrily at others. We are being challenged to be prayerful of others. Paul tells us that women and men have their roles, but to not get caught in the trappings of what society values of a man (warrior, machismo) or woman ( beauty, fashion). Pray and go about your business.


Eventually, the news will get out about this great mercy of God. The desire the Lord has for saving all souls that get placed on the earth is abundant. We Christian foot soldiers need to be attentive, and CLEVER!


Jesus uses this parable of the crooked manager to point out something important. The corrupt manager goes around and cuts deals with those who owed the master debts. The Master then praises the manager for his resourcefulness and cleverness.



We are to be resourceful and smart in our ministry as the baptized. One way I've discovered to outsmart the "none" trend of the formerly practicing Catholics is to still maintain a relationship with them. Not surrounded by Church business, but as a friend. My connection to salvation in the sacramental life of the Church is likely enough to get some of these folks into heaven because they do good deeds by my example. That's not to say they start coming to Mass every week, not at all. They begin to live life as a Christian and feel the CALLING to return to the pews, to sing the songs, then profess the faith, and receive the sacraments. It's not going to happen overnight, but it is a solid plan outlined here by Jesus.


So let's reach out to those friends and relatives who are away from the Church. They feel a need for the kingdom; they've just let too many parts of the world and human failing get in the way. That's not their fault, its a symptom of the devil's influence. None of us are immune to that S.O.B., but we can (via our baptism) tell that devil to get behind us and F* off!


In conclusion, we have been warned by Amos, dissuaded by Paul, and encouraged by Jesus to use our guile to work in God's favor.


Now, what shall we do?


Peace,

-Matt


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