By Father Brendan McGuire
Pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, San Jose, and Vicar General for Special Projects, Diocese of San Jose.
You cannot serve two masters; you either love one and hate the other…You cannot serve both God and mammon.
What is the Lord trying to say here? By analogy, when we are driving a car, we are either driving it in forward or in reverse. We cannot go forward and reverse at the same time. The Lord is asking us which direction are we going. Are we going forward, following God or are we going reverse, following Mammon and doing our own thing? This Gospel is not so much about what we have as much as how we use it or which way we are going.
Jesus asks with who are we in relationship: God or mammon? Which way are we facing? The dishonest steward, when under pressure, got it right; he turned and faced the right way. Initially, he did not care about any of the masters’ debtors but then he realized that he was going to be under pressure himself, he turned and moved into in right relationship with each of these people. The Lord is trying to get us to face the right way and be in right relationship with one another.
Pope Francis is constantly reminding us as a Church to be people who are looking out for those who are most in need; the furthest extremities of our society regardless of whether they are Catholic or not. We need to be a Church who is constantly facing those who are needy and caring for them because they are exactly who Christ would have us face and move toward. We are to care for the needy, the broken the wounded, the hurt. The Lord says it is about right relationship. It is about how we reach out to one another and about how we use our wealth not on how much we have. It’s about who we face.
Yes, it is about right relationship. It is about not how much we have but about how we spend what we have. We cannot go in forward and reverse at the same time. The Lord wants us to always be in the forward motion and going towards him at all times. We cannot serve two masters, either mammon or God. We are called to choose Christ and to be in right relationship with God and not to let our material possessions own us. We choose Christ. We follow him as our Master not anyone else.