25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 6-9): Faithful and True
(Adults, the Gospel for this Sunday contains a parable that is difficult for both adults and children to understand. This reflection focuses mainly on the shorter versin of the reading.)
Luke 16:10-13 (full reading: Luke 16.1-13)
In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus tells a parable today about a man who has not been working honestly. He does not tell us exactly what he has done, but he has not been making good choices. Why does this matter? How can this be good news for us? The people must have been wondering, too, for then Jesus says:
“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much...
What does Jesus mean by "faithful"? Sometimes pet dogs are called faithful. People can rely on them always to greet them at the door, always to be ready to go for a walk, always glad to see them.
People who are faithful can be counted on to act the same way—the same good way—always. When we are sad or lonely, faithful people are always there to hug us and keep us company. When they tell us they will pick up milk after work, they pick up milk after work. When they say something, we believe them. We trust them. We say faithful people are true.
...and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. "
Wait a minute. Isn't everyone dishonest some of the time?
We know that Jesus says, say "yes" when you mean "yes"—but if our brother asks if we ate the last cookie sometimes it is easier to say, "No," because he would get really mad.
Faithful or dishonest?
We know that Jesus says to love our neighbour and so we make an effort to be kind to everyone—except for that one kid at school who is extremely annoying.
Faithful or dishonest?
If we put all the faithful things we do into a box and all the dishonest things into another box, we could show Jesus that the faithful box is bigger. But Jesus says that this is not the way to live. God does not want our separate boxes.
What if the way we live on Sunday is the way we live everyday?
What if the way we treat our best friend is the way we treat the annoying kid at school?
What if every time someone needs us, we are there to help?
What if every time we need someone to help us, there they are with a hand outstretched to help?
Would the Kingdom of God be here?
The small things may not seem important, but the way we live affects our whole selves. It is the difference between growing straight and true, and growing crooked.
Small things prepare us for bigger ones. We practice faithfulness. We learn to live the same way, in every situation, no matter what. Always.
But how can we possibly do that? How can the Kingdom come?
Alone it is too difficult. We need help. We need someone who is always there to help. Someone faithful. Someone True.
At our Baptism, we are given the Holy Spirit as our help. We need the gifts the Holy Spirit brings to help us grow faithful and true, to grow with integrity. We need the twin gifts Counsel and Fortitude. We need the gift of knowing the right choice and the strength to do it.
Let us pray today for the gifts of Counsel and Fortitude, so that we can live and grow, faithful and true.