Daily Gospel Reflection: Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
Bishop Robert Barron
November 11, 2023
Memorial of Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop
Gospel: Lk 16:9-15
Jesus said to his disciples: "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 God and mammon." The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And he said to them, "You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us to approach wealth with wisdom. Let me quote a sermon of St. John Chrysostom on the right approach to money:
“Those who love money are fierce in the pursuit of it, like wild animals pursuing their prey. They betray, cheat, or exploit their closest friend when there is gold and silver to be gained. They learn to make their consciences as numb as fingers on a cold day. Their eyes become blind to the suffering they cause, and their ears deaf to the cries of those whose lives are ruined by them.”
Those are strong words, and they shook the people at the time who heard them. And they shake us today. But can you hear he’s speaking in the tones of Jesus? What’s the ground of all this for John Chrysostom? Why does he say it? It’s very clear. Because everything we have—our bodies, our life, our breath, our minds, our accomplishments, and, yes, our wealth—is a sheer gift given to us by a generous God, and, therefore, it ought never to be hoarded for our own purposes but always used for God’s purposes.