(Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Sunday, September 18, 2016.
“The children of light” (Luke 16:8) are those who place their trust in God, not in material possessions and use them for the benefit of everybody.
“The children of this world” (Luke 16:8) are those who place their trust in their worldly possessions and use them only for their self-serving interests.
The proper use of material possessions
1. Material possessions are to be used only to meet our needs at the highest level required by our human dignity.
2. Material possessions are not to be administered in a way that may result in their accumulation beyond what is necessary to meet our needs, lest said possessions become wealth (mammon) and, therefore, an outward sign of the appropriation of what belongs to all. (Wealth – accumulated possessions – becomes an injustice whenever there is even one single person whose needs have been left unmet). With wealth (mammon) comes greed, and with greed, oppression.
Who are those who accumulate wealth? (Amos 8:4-7):
1. Those “who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land.”
2. Those who fraudulently sell at the highest possible price, goods or services that have been reduced to the lowest possible quality. To sell their grain, they “will diminish the ephah, add to the shekel, and fix [the] scales for cheating!”
3. Those who appropriate for themselves the larger portion of the worker’s fair salary. They “buy the lowly man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals.
“The children of light” employ their material possessions, their talents, their creativity, and their ingenuity in devising means to spread the “light” to the world. They resort to the means of “light”, i.e. dialogue, understanding, mutual respect. They are administrators of peace and justice.
Furthermore, “the children of light” use effective means to turn “the children of this world” into “children of light.” “First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority [the children of this world], that we may live a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion [justice] and dignity” (1 Timothy 2:1-2).
(By Jesús A. Diez Canseco)