Sept 22, 2013 - 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

posted Oct 10, 2013, 8:26 AM by Domain Admin   [ updated May 7, 2016, 10:23 PM ]

Gospel of Luke 16: 1-13

In this week’s gospel, Jesus tells us the story of how a steward uses his authority to get “ahead of the game” in his career and to gain more money for himself. He then finds himself with no job because he has cheated his patrons. He tries to regain his job back and his reputation by redoing he has done and doing what’s right for those he had had done wrong to.
 
Jerico’s Reflection
When I was 21, I made a decision to run for a seat on the New Haven Unified School District Board of Education. The School Board was in charge of creating policy that would affect the schools within the district boundaries (Union City). I wanted to run for a one of the three positions because I felt like the current board was not doing justice to our young people.

At that time I was a recent graduate from the district. And felt the effects of budget cuts, growing class sizes and how education affected our community. I was very passionate about being a voice for the current generation and to collaborate with the community in making our schools better for our students. My purpose for running was clear to me and to the community I wanted to serve.

As it got closer to Election Day, all I could think about was winning. I got so consumed about the outcome of the election that I forgot about my purpose for running. I did things for people and groups so that I could get their endorsement and support. I said what people wanted to hear in order to win. The other candidates had money tied to their campaigns. I didn’t. They had mailers, postcards, signs, ads, and more. All those things cost money and as much as I truly disliked it, I knew that it was one of the ways to win. So I went for where the money was and for local politics; that means getting endorsements. I was so frenzied with impressing people in high positions so that they can know who I am and possibly support my campaign.

I felt so disconnected to my own community and those who mattered to the cause. My focus now turned to making it to the top. I met the right people, got the right endorsements, but I lost sight of my true purpose of running and was cut off from the people I wanted to represent. Most people that I met told me that the school board was a good step but they could someday see me in higher places at the state or federal level. I like what I was hearing, especially moving up in the ladder of politics. I fell under the spell of using local politics as a platform to move up.

I realize now that I wasn’t thinking straight. I fell into the game of politics. I would be cheating those who I represented because I wanted to move up. If I did win and use the school board as a platform and decided to run in a higher election, I would have just compromised the district and their education all because I was selfish and wanted to move up.

In the gospel this week, Jesus tells us about a steward who lost sight of what truly mattered and used his responsibilities to “get ahead”. I did the exact same thing. I lost sight of what truly mattered because I wanted to get ahead.  So did this steward, but God gives each of us the opportunity to do right.

We all have the opportunity to have a relationship with God; to see God in other people, to love, serve, to be a steward of good faith, and much more. As we continue to explore the gospels, lets apply it in our own lives, lets challenge ourselves to reach out to others and to be stewards of faith and service.

Think about how we each have tried to “get ahead”. How can that affect our relationship with others and with God?  
 
Kat’s Reflection
We live in a very materialistic society. From magazine and television ads to billboards stories high with sayings or pictures of what society thinks we should look like or have in order to be part of  the "in" crowd.  We're brought up and raised to be the best, have the best, do the best. When I was growing up, my mom always told me that life would be much harder for me since I was a girl. I had to fight harder to get what I wanted and to fit into this society. It was still a "man's world" and life wasn't fair. I had to have the best education, to get the best job, to be at the top! I had to grow up fast. I had my first child when I was a very young 20 years old. All my dreams of a good education and best career went out the door for me. I needed more time...that was now gone. With that, my mindset changed. I had to at least have the best that I could for my child. To me, that meant I had to provide the best financial support. 

I was blessed to have friends in corporate positions already. They helped me get into companies that I knew I wouldn't be able to land on skill set alone. This was great! With some college education, I was working in corporate America with a very generous salary for a young person. This catapulted me into craving for more. I wanted to move up that ladder as fast as I could...even though I knew I wasn't ready. Within 10 months, I was to be the youngest promoted supervisor. I would receive company stock options and have a considerable salary with the perks of using the company credit card to take my staff to lunch when I deemed fit. Power and money. Or should I say...the power in money. I got lost in it all. I had a lot of money that I pretty much squandered on "things". My child and I had nice clothes and ate well. We vacationed to nice places and traveled as much as we could.  Money was no object. Life was great.

Through all of this, I was still going to church, but I don't think I was thanking God for our blessings. I really took these fortunes for granted. I believed that I did all of it when in fact all of it was God's doing and He had his hand in ALL of it.

I believe this is what this Sunday's gospel is telling me. We can't have money or "things" consume us so much that we forget God. God was the reason and cause for my prosperity and still is. His plan for me was His own and for that I should've been thankful. I see that now. I've also learned to teach my kids that God is and always should be first; that without Him we are empty because we cannot take our riches and 'things' with us when we die. I hope that I'm teaching them to be the best person they can be...with or without money; for the riches are abundant when we die and live with Him eternally in Heaven.
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