Mark Connolly blogs under the pen name Frater Bovious at https://spiritualadvocate.wordpress.com/, and as a guest blogger at http://thejoecatholic.org/. He is also a contributor at Catholic365.com. Mark holds a Master of Theological Studies in Pastoral Theology and lives in Carrollton, TX with his wife Rosie Connolly and their dog Coco.
This past Sunday, the Gospel reading was Luke 16:1-13. In this reading, a steward, (a trusted servant responsible for the household of his master), has wasted his master’s goods. He is told to prepare an accounting, as he will be removed from his position. In something of a panic, he calls in his master’s debtors and reduces their debts to curry favor with them that he might have some recourse after losing his position. On its face, he appears to continue to mismanage his master’s affairs, again for his own benefit. And then we have this odd reaction from his master:
“The master commended the dishonest steward for his prudence…” Luke 16:8a
This is followed by Jesus saying to the Pharisees: “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.” Luke 16: 9
So, am I the only one that was ever confused by this? Looks to me like Jesus is telling us to lie, cheat and steal to gain heaven. I’ve never been particularly enlightened by any of the homilies I’ve heard on this either. Most times the focus is on the earlier reading from Amos, which talks about how the people “observe the Sabbath” by not selling and cheating in the marketplace, yet, their hearts and minds are focused on when they can resume their dishonest lives instead of on the worship of God. Let’s face it, there is a lot of material to work with there, in our time as much as 2000 years ago.
What if you do remember whizzing past some of the signposts covered in the previous posts? A suggestion was put on the table for consideration, “Turn around.”
Yes, turn around, or as we learned, convert. What happens if you turn around? You may find you have some baggage to unload. Stuff that you might really want to keep. Stuff that you may feel you can’t live without. What do you do? Well, don’t do what the guy in the picture is about to do.
In the previous article, we looked at sin and evil, and identified the Seven Signposts on the Highway to Hell. But, just knowing the outward signs is probably not quite enough. So, let’s take a closer look at these sins and find out why we call them Deadly.
That saying may be more true for your brain than it is for your body. One of the benefits of Lent, what with the fasting and praying and alms-giving, is the opportunity to put our brains on a fast from Mind Cheetos.