September 22, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 16:1-13

Jesus said to his disciples,
“A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said,
‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’
The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
“For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than are the children of light.
I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

Reflection (Sem. Jul Elden Nuique):

     The servant in today’s story used every means at his disposal to achieve what he wanted, continued survival in the world.  One of the things we could learn from that servant is the attitude of tenacity.  He did not lose hope in the circumstances that befell him, he did not lose sight of his capacity to adjust, and he made the best of things.

     As of this writing, I am going through a difficult part of priestly formation.  My next stage as a seminarian, which is Admission into the Candidacy for the Diaconate and Presbyterate is denied.  Canonically, this means that, as of now, I have an impediment for the reception of the sacred orders.  In addition, I have no credibility in the community I am in, for my competency and character is questionable.  Most of all, and the hardest-hitting part of this condition, I feel that God is not confirming my decision to continue in priestly formation.  I feel depressed and hopeless, unwanted and purposeless, adrift and isolated.  In a word, I am desolate; even prayer and the presence of God has become doubtful for me.  Sometimes I think that this priestly vocation is simply an unresolved Freudian psychosis.  However, (praised be Ignatius!)  I am reserving any decision-making until the time I pass this low moment in my life.  I am doing my best to live out the attitude of tenacity by finding all means necessary to make the best of these circumstances.

     In conclusion, after serious soul-searching, i.e., discernment, I need to let go of useless things in my life, no matter how much I may have wanted to cling on to them.  Like the attitude of tenacity of the servant in today’s Gospel, I must have the necessary courage to carry out what I know is the better thing to do that brings the greater glory of God.

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