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Can you be trusted? PDF Print E-mail

22 September 2013: Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

You cannot be slaves both of God and of money

The Bible always surprises us with its ability to surprise. Take the parable of the Dodgy or Rogue Manager in today's Gospel, Jesus follows the parable with a couple questions: if you (that includes us) cannot be trusted with money who will trust you with genuine riches; if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will trust you what is your very own? The expected answer of course is: “no one Lord”. But when we read this parable with the larger context of Luke's Gospel, Jesus and God seems to say the exact opposite: “I will, and in fact I do it time and time again”. After all, the disciples whom Jesus personally chose and trusted proved as unreliable and deceitful as the steward in the parable. When challenged by the authorities at the time of Jesus's passion they bolted to safety and Peter denied ever knowing him. Yet after the resurrection Jesus sought them out, forgave them, reinstated them and put them in charge of preaching the Good News. Not the kind of thing organisations, including churches, are likely to do now. These days it tends to be “one strike and you're out”. But God is always trusting and forgiving.

As we enter school holidays the sporting cultural milieu is exerting a powerful influence over our children's faith story. How will we continue to encourage the attitudes of respect, listening, friendship and the spirit of collaboration? Pope Francis offers us some advice; 'See', the Lord says, 'I am the one who will sort out the story'. So often in life we ought to slow down and not try to fix everything at once! To travel in patience means these things; it's giving up the hope that we can solve everything; it's making an effort, but understanding that one person cannot do everything and it's putting the myth of efficiency into perspective.