“As the world turns, the Cross stands firm.” -St. Bruno-
At the time I am writing this, we do not have definitive results from the Presidential Election. By the time you are reading this, it’s possible that there will be definitive results. However, I don’t think it matters much because today’s First Reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians reminds us that “…our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ”. St. Paul urges the Philippians to model their lives after imitators of Christ rather than after those who “…conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ”. When we direct our attention toward our end in Heaven, we are able to confidently stand firm in the Lord despite any obstacle, uncertainty, or hopelessness we may be experiencing in our lives.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the story of a rich man and his dishonest steward. At the end of the parable, the rich man praises the steward for being prudent in worldly gains. After reading this over a few times, I was still confused. Is Christ telling us we should commend one another for our world gains, even if they were achieved dishonestly? No, that couldn’t be the message of the Gospel. What I think Jesus is essentially saying is: Imagine where we would be if we put as much effort into our spiritual lives as we do into earthly things. The steward and the rich man are those that St. Paul says are enemies of the cross of Christ because, “Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their ‘shame’”. They indulge in worldly goods and, rather than being ashamed of their misconduct, they are commended for their shrewdness. Their absorption in matters of this world distracts them from their ultimate end which is Heaven and they become children of the world rather than children of the light.
Jesus ends by saying “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than the children of the light”. To the world, children of the light – those who follow Christ and live in accord with His teaching – seem foolish. They are not preoccupied with material things, but rather with their ultimate end which is the glory of Heaven. The children of the world, however, seem prudent to the world because their preoccupation with the world often leads to material gain like that of the steward in the parable. We are called to be children of the light and keep our attention toward Heaven, even if that means appearing foolish to the world.
In this time of unrest and uncertainty, may we appear foolish to the world as we stand firm in the Lord and not become preoccupied with earthly matters. May we remember that we await a Savior and glory in Heaven.
Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO and teaches English Language Development and Spanish to high schoolers. She is married to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com.