November 7, 2015
by Sr. Candice Tucci, O.S.F.
Creighton University's Chaplain of the College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 490

Romans 16:3-9, 16, 22-27
Psalms 145:2-3, 4-5, 10-11
Luke 16:9-15

Praying Ordinary Time

Don’t you love how letters to the early church were begun? I Tertius, I Paul, I Peter… seems they knew who they were, and, that being one of many who were  beloved in the Lord, who were co-workers in Christ, who could greet each other in the name of Jesus with a holy kiss, and rejoice in their obedience of faith. O my! They were women and men who knew the truth of who they were and acted accordingly without a divided heart.

Our Gospel seems to pick up on that.  Make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth…No servant can serve two masters….What is this? I think Jesus in telling us to look deeply into ourselves with an invitation to  a conversation between our honest and dishonest self so we may attain a more intimate and loving relationship with  him, one another, and our created universe.  Some spiritual writers call this a look into our true and false selves. Jesus invites us to a conversion of heart.

Like saints Francis of Assisi and Ignatius of Loyola, they took the time to look at what was really important in their lives, (not wealth, fame nor glory) listened deeply in conversation with Jesus, and discovered their true and authentic selves.

Dishonesty is a seed to betrayal. You can betray yourself and others.  It severs one’s heart and divides that which is good and true from that which is harmful and false. A bond is broken and trust is hard to recover.  The good news is that Jesus knows us inside and out! He is love and mercy without limit and is always with us. We know this if we take time to listen in on the conversation, open our hearts, and respond in serving “one master”—Jesus.

Twentieth  century spiritual writer, Thomas Merton wrote, “My false and private self is the one who wants to exist outside the reach of God’s will and God’s love….Unless we discover this deep self, which is hidden with Christ in God, we will never really know ourselves as persons. Nor will we know God”.  Ask ourselves, am I living out of my true and deep self or false self? Am I being honest with myself enough to acknowledge those parts of me that are false…my shadows…my sin…my dishonest wealth “ knowing that “ when it fails you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings”.

Recently we celebrated the feasts of All Saints and All Souls. About two years ago, my dad died. I would give the eulogy. It would be short.  Fidelity was the one word to describe him.  He was an honest and faithful man. He was faithful to his country, his work, family, church and God.  I believe he embraced life, was true to himself and did not exist “outside of God’s will and love.”  Together with the communion of saints, women and men who knew the truth of who they were and acted accordingly without a divided heart, we can pray as the psalmist wrote:  “Generation after generation praises your works…speak of your splendor…your glory…and let the faithful ones praise you!”  I, Candice, wish you peace!

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