Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time

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Exalted Through Humility

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example.” Matthew 23:1–3

Sometimes people’s words inspire us, but more often it is the witness they give with their actions that inspires. Additionally, when someone’s words do not match up with their actions, they are seen as hypocrites. Jesus is very hard on the scribes and the Pharisees for this reason. “For they preach but they do not practice.” They spoke about the Law of God, taught it in a detailed way, but they did not truly practice God’s Law as it was intended to be practiced. Jesus goes on to give a list of the ways that these religious leaders failed to live the laws of God. They failed in their charity and encouragement of others, they did everything for public praise and for show, and they sought out honors and meaningless titles. As a result, they cared little for others and cared much about themselves.

At the heart of Jesus’ criticism of the scribes and Pharisees was their tendency to exalt themselves in the eyes of others. Jesus corrects this tendency by saying that “the greatest among you must be your servant,” and that “​​whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Therefore, if you wish to be truly great and if you wish to be exalted by God, you must serve with the deepest humility.

Humility begins by seeing yourself in the light of truth. How does God see you? The humble soul seeks to discover this insight by using the eyes of Christ to look at their own soul. It would be truly humbling if we could see ourselves in the full light of the truth. But too often we take on a false image of ourselves and look at our lives through a lens of self-righteousness. We tend to quickly defend our actions, justifying the sins we commit and failing to acknowledge our weaknesses.

What would you see if you looked at yourself with humility? One glaring thing you will see is your sin. Our lives are filled with sin. Sometimes they are serious sins, and at other times less serious, but our lives are undoubtedly filled with sins and imperfections. If we are blind to those sins, then we lack the necessary humility we need to see ourselves in the light of truth.

The virtue of humility will also take us a step further than seeing our sins clearly. It will also help us to see our need for God’s grace in order to change, to love, and to serve God and others. We cannot love by our own efforts. It is impossible. The love of charity is only possible when it is God Who lives in us and acts through us. God and God alone is able to work true charity through our actions. Knowing and believing this humble truth is the only way to open the door to that grace.

Reflect, today, upon the humility that you need in order to truly love. When you love others with the pure love of God, you will discover within yourself a need to serve. You will see others as objects of your love. You will discover a burning desire to help them, forgive them, be gentle and merciful to them, and to do all you can to help them discover the truth of their own lives so they will, in turn, humbly turn to God. The scribes and Pharisees failed miserably at this mission, and that is one of the reasons that Jesus used them as an example. Do not follow their lead. Seek to take the opposite approach. Seek humility. Seek the truth. If you do, God will use you in powerful ways and will exalt you on high.

Most humble Lord, You are exalted above all because You were humble beyond all. You knew the truth of Who You are and embraced that truth with all Your might. Please give me Your eyes to see myself as You see me, so that in Your humble gaze, I will see my sin, repent wholeheartedly, and turn to You as the source of all my love. Jesus, I trust in You.

Seekers of Truth

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, ‘He is One and there is no other than he.’ And ‘to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself’ is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” Mark 12:32–33

This scribe got it. He posed a question to Jesus after Jesus was challenged by some of the Sadducees who did not accept Jesus’ teachings about the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees were trying to trip Jesus up, and this scribe listened carefully to Jesus’ answer and found it to be well said. Therefore, this scribe asks Jesus his own question. He doesn’t ask this question in an attempt to trap Jesus, but because he appeared to sincerely want to hear Jesus’ answer. So he asked Jesus, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” To that question, Jesus gives a summary of the whole law of God saying that we must first love God with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength and then love our neighbor as ourselves.

We must all try to imitate this scribe. It was risky for him to show support of Jesus. Many of the other scribes were quite hostile toward Jesus. Therefore, by openly expressing His agreement with what Jesus taught, he was putting himself at risk of being criticized. But it appears he was not concerned about that. He was a seeker of truth, and Jesus ended up paying him a huge compliment by saying, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

In our growingly secular world, there are many truths of God that are being openly questioned and challenged. Agreement on what are the moral truths is becoming more of the exception than the norm. As a result, we will all find ourselves experiencing hostility from the world simply by being seekers of the truth. Many people even find that a mere refusal to openly support objective immorality will make them a target of the secular world.

Are you a seeker of truth? Do you recognize the holy truths of God when you hear them? If so, do you have the courage you need to pursue those truths and articulate them in accord with the mind of God in the presence of others? Evangelization is different from proselytism. Proselytism is a hostile and forceful preaching of the truths of God. It is argumentative and lacks basic respect for the freedom and dignity of others. Evangelization, on the other hand, is an essential practice that every follower of Christ must engage in. At the heart of evangelization is an honest and humble seeking of the truth in every situation. One who evangelizes does not attack another. They do not criticize and condemn. Instead, they seek to understand the full truth themselves and then openly share that truth with those who are open to it.

In many ways, this scribe did just that. He listened, understood, inquired, and then freely shared his faith in what Jesus said. Those who listened to him, especially other scribes, might not have agreed with his conclusions. They might have even criticized him among themselves. But the witness of this scribe might have opened the minds and hearts of others who were listening. Some would have sensed his openness, his understanding, and his joyful response and allowed his conversation with Jesus to affect them for the good. Thus, by openly seeking the truth, this scribe also evangelized others and Jesus praised Him for his good work.

Reflect, today, upon the way that you share your faith with others. Are you one who tends to be argumentative and condemning? Or do you allow the joy of your own discovery of the truths of God do the evangelizing? Be a seeker of Truth. Do so openly and with joy. If you do, others will discover in you the truths of God that they need and will be invited to imitate your truth-seeking in their own lives.

Lord of all Truth, in You and You alone will we discover the truths that set us free. Give me the grace and courage I need to always seek out the truth You teach. As I discover and understand all that You teach, help me to express my discoveries with joy and enthusiasm so that others will also be drawn to You. Jesus, I trust in You.

Drawing Jesus

Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. Luke 19:1–3

And we know the rest of the story. This chief tax collector climbed a tree in order to see Jesus pass by. In doing so, he did more than climb a tree to see someone popular. His humble act was also an expression of his desire to know Jesus. His faith compelled him to do all that he could in order to learn more about this man who was tugging on his own heart.

Zacchaeus is a model for us all. We begin with the fact that he was a chief tax collector and a wealthy man. This is another way of saying that he had lived an immoral life of selfishness and greed. Tax collectors at that time would regularly take more than was fair and pocket some of the money. The authorities permitted this, as long as the tax collectors regularly gave them their share. But this tax collector appears to be different from other wealthy people Jesus encountered. It appears quite clear that Zacchaeus was not satisfied with his money and was well aware of an emptiness within.

Though an excessive attachment to money might or might not be the sin you struggle with, we all attempt to satisfy our interior cravings with something. We become attached to many different things with the hope that those things will satisfy us. What is that for you? What do you attach yourself to with the hope of satisfying the restlessness within?

Though Zacchaeus appears to have been overly attached to money in the past, it is also clear that he was ready to end that attachment. This is why he is such a great model for us. It is not enough to see that to which we are inordinately attached in life. We must also see the futility of that attachment and be ready and willing to end it the moment God enters our lives.

As soon as Jesus walked by, he saw Zacchaeus up the tree. That which drew Jesus to Zacchaeus was not the simple fact of seeing a grown man up a tree. Instead, Jesus could sense his desire and his willingness to change. This was a magnet for Jesus’ heart and drew Him directly to Zacchaeus. As soon as Jesus said to Zacchaeus, “come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house,” Jesus knew what Zacchaeus’ response would be. He knew that this formerly-attached-to-money tax collector would respond to His invitation by detaching from his money. He knew that Zacchaeus was ready to change. He knew that Zacchaeus no longer found satisfaction in the things of this world and was drawn to the spiritual riches Jesus came to offer.

Reflect, today, upon the image of Jesus walking by. If He were to walk by you, what would He sense? Would His Sacred Heart be drawn to you as a magnet is drawn to iron? Would he sense that you are ready to give up your inordinate attachments so that you can be filled with Him alone? Would He come to you and ask to stay in your house, the house of your soul? He would if He sensed your openness and desire to change. Reflect upon how you can be more like Zacchaeus so that you, too, will draw our Lord to you with a heart that is open and ready to be filled by Him alone.

My merciful Lord, there are many things in life in which I have tried to find satisfaction. Many attachments have left me dry and empty. Please free me from all false illusions of happiness and draw me to You so that You will come and dwell in the house of my soul. Jesus, I trust in You.

The Reward of Eternal Glory

Monday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time

“When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.” Luke 14:12–14

Is Jesus telling us that it is sinful to invite friends and family to a dinner party? Certainly not. He is teaching us about something much deeper. Throwing a dinner party for others is good when our motive is love. But if the goal of the dinner, or any other act of charity, is vainglory, then the vanity we achieve from such an act is the payment we will receive. Sadly, the “payment” of vainglory is sought and obtained by many in various ways. Jesus’ lesson teaches us that our only motive for the good we do should be the humble and hidden motive of loving service.

As a result of the temptation to pride, we can easily find ourselves being inordinately concerned about what others think about us. Holding a lunch or dinner for friends, family, and your wealthy neighbors is simply an illustration of the sin of pride at work. Within this context, Jesus is speaking about a person who performs some act for the sole purpose of building up their self-image and obtaining praise and flattery from others. This form of “glory” is truly vain in that it is not only worthless to the good of the soul, it is also damaging.

Why do you do what you do? Are your good actions done so that others will see and praise them? Do you go out of your way to show people how good you are? Are you overly concerned about the opinions of others? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then you might be struggling with pride more than you realize.

On the contrary, are you content with doing some good deed that is hidden from the eyes of others? Can you take delight solely in helping others, even if no one knows about it? Are you motivated to serve and give of yourself for the exclusive reason that you want to make a difference in the lives of others? This is what Jesus means when He says you should hold a banquet for the poor, crippled, lame, blind, and everyone who is unable to repay you. In other words, when you are not able to receive the “reward” of vainglory, that is good. That must be your goal.

Reflect, today, upon how strong your desire is for notoriety. Consider some scenario where you worked hard day and night for some time to do some good work. Imagine that the good work accomplished great benefits for others. Then imagine that no one knew you were behind that good work and, therefore, you received no gratitude or acknowledgment. How would you feel? Ideally, you would rejoice for two reasons. First, you would rejoice that you were able to serve and make a difference. Second, you would rejoice that God and God alone was aware of your act of charity. When God sees our goodness and selfless service, He puts Himself in debt to us in a certain sense. The “debt” that God takes on is His gratitude and love which are expressed to us through eternal rewards of His making. Seek to obtain these eternal rewards by striving to serve in the most hidden and humble ways possible. Those rewards infinitely surpass the fleeting rewards of vainglory.

Most glorious God, You came to earth to suffer and die. In that act of perfect love You brought about the greatest good ever known. You offered this holy service of love in the most hidden and humble of ways. As a result, You are now glorified forever. Help me to share in Your acts of humble and hidden service so that I, too, may one day share in the glory of Heaven. Jesus, I trust in You.

You are Invited

Tuesday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time

“A man gave a great dinner to which he invited many. When the time for the dinner came, he dispatched his servant to say to those invited, ‘Come, everything is now ready.’ But one by one, they all began to excuse themselves.”  Luke 14:16-18

Do you ever excuse yourself from the will of God? Do you pass up His invitation to feast at the table of His great dinner? More than anything else, the invitation God has given us to this “great dinner” is the invitation to participate in the Holy Mass and to pray. The fact that some would regularly excuse themselves from such an invitation shows that they do not understand that to which they have been invited. Others attend physically, but interiorly they are far from the feast that they attend.

In this parable, one after another of the invited guests did not come. So the man throwing the dinner sent out an invitation to “the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.” This is a reference to those Jews of Jesus’ time who recognized their need for the gift of salvation. They are those who were aware of their weaknesses and sins and knew that Jesus was the answer.

After the poor, crippled, blind and lame came to the feast, there was still more room. So the man sent his servants to invite those from “the highways and hedgerows” which is a reference to the Gospel being preached to the Gentiles who were not of Jewish origin.

Today, this feast continues to be offered. There are many lax Catholics, however, who refuse to come. There are those who find that life is too busy for them to make time for prayer and for Mass. They are those who are so caught up in worldly pursuits that they see little personal benefit in devoting themselves to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

If you wish to be among those who attend the feast of our Lord, you must work to identify yourself with the poor, crippled, blind and lame. You must recognize your brokenness, weaknesses and sins. You must not shy away from seeing yourself this way because it is to those that Jesus sends a desperate invitation. His desperation is an all-consuming desire for us to share in His love. He wants to love and heal those in need. We are those who are in need.

When we come to our Lord’s Feast through prayer, fidelity to His Word, and by our participation in the Sacraments, we will notice that He wants others to join us for His feast. Therefore, we must also see ourselves as those servants who are sent forth to the highways and hedgerows where we will find those who do not follow God’s will. They must be invited. Though they might not feel as though they belong, God wants them at His feast. We must do the inviting.

Reflect, today, upon two things. First, reflect upon any excuse you regularly use when God invites you to pray, to deepen your faith, and to participate in the Eucharist. Do you respond immediately and with eagerness? Or do you excuse yourself more often than you want to admit? Reflect, also, upon the duty given to you by God to go forth to the most lost souls so as to invite them to God’s feast. Our Lord wants everyone to know they are invited. Let Him use you to send forth His invitation.

My generous Lord, You have invited me to share in the glory of Your great Feast. You invite me every day to pray, grow strong in my faith, and to share in the Holy Eucharist. May I always respond to You and never excuse myself from Your invitations. Please also use me, dear Lord, to send forth Your invitation to those most in need. Jesus, I trust in You.

Loving through “Holy Hate”

Wednesday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time

Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”  Luke 14:25–26

After this startling opening line from our Lord, Jesus concludes today’s Gospel by saying, “In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” Thus, at first read it appears that we are called to not only renounce all we possess but also to hate those within our own family. But is this truly what our Lord means? Let’s begin with the idea of “hating” those within our family and even our own life.

Obviously the word “hate” in this Gospel passage is not the same as the sin of hate and anger. In commenting on this passage, one Church Father explains that there are some cases when the best way to love another is through a form of hate. That is, if another were to act as an obstacle to God, working to deter us from the will of our Lord, then our “hatred” for the actions they do must be firmly expressed. But this is love. A refusal to turn from God, by rejecting another’s disordered actions, is a way of sharing the Gospel with them. Let’s take an extreme example.

Imagine that you lived at a time and circumstance where being a Christian was a crime. You were arrested and commanded to publicly renounce your faith. Instead, you renounced that command with every strength of your soul. In this case, you exercise a form of holy “hate” for the persecution the person is imposing upon you. But that is also an act of love toward them as you fully reject their action by renouncing their command.

Or consider also how you hate even your “own life.” Let’s say that you fall into serious sin, over and over. The appropriate response is not only to repent but also to have a form of holy hatred for the habit into which you have fallen. This is a true hatred for yourself in the sense that it is a hatred for that which you have become by your sin. But this holy hatred has the ultimate goal of passionately overcoming your sin and is therefore a true act of love for yourself.

The concluding line of today’s Gospel mentioned above calls us to renounce all of our possessions. In other words, we must renounce anything that we are attached to in a way that is contrary to the will of God. Of course, in God’s providence most people (except those who take a vow of poverty) are invited by God to have various possessions so as to meet the material needs of life. But even in this case, we must “renounce” all that we possess, meaning, we must not allow ourselves to become attached to anything other than God. But this is freedom in the truest sense. Even if you have many things, it must be understood that those things do not make you happy. Only God and His will can fulfill you. Nothing else. Thus, we must learn to live as if God and God alone suffices. And if it is God’s will that you obtain a house, car, computer, television and other modern conveniences, then so be it. But true “renunciation” of all of these possessions simply means that if at any time you were to lose them, then this would be fine. Therein is perfect detachment. The loss of something material would not deter you in any way from loving and serving God and His holy will.

Reflect, today, upon these radical words of Jesus. Try to hear them in the way our Lord meant them. Work to be detached from everything that is contrary to the will of God and everything that becomes an obstacle to God in your life. In the end, possessing God alone is more than you could ever hope for. And only if you fully possess our merciful God will you be able to love yourself and others with the pure heart and love of Jesus our Lord.

My demanding Lord, You call us all to a life of radical holiness. You desire that I come to love You above all with all my heart. Please give me the grace and wisdom I need to renounce all that is an obstacle to my love and service of You. May You and You alone be glorified in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.

Carried Home

Thursday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time

“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’”  Luke 15:4–6

Some of the great saints point out that the number one hundred represents perfection. One hundred refers to the perfection of the Kingdom of God, which represents not only all of the saints in Heaven but also the angels. The one lost sheep represents all of humanity as we make our way through this life. Jesus, of course, is the Shepherd Whose attention turns to fallen humanity on a diligent search for us so as to carry us home.

First, notice that the Shepherd does not search for the one stray sheep out of anger but out of concern and love. Understanding this is essential if we are to have a correct understanding of how our Lord sees us when we stray. We must see His deep concern, His diligence in searching, and His unwavering commitment to find us in our straying condition. This is not a God Who sits back in judgment and anger but a God Who came to us, took on our fallen human nature, and endured all suffering so as to find us and bring us home.

Notice also that in this parable, the Shepherd places the lost sheep on His shoulders and carries the sheep home. Oftentimes we can fall into the trap of thinking that we must make our way back to God by our own effort. But the truth is that God is always there, waiting to pick us up and carry us home. Our duty is to surrender to His merciful hands and to stop running. This is done by turning to Him and allowing Him to come to us and minister to us. The primary effort is on the part of our Lord once we surrender ourselves into His gentle Hands.

Finally, notice that the rejoicing mentioned in this parable is on the part of the Shepherd. Of course we also will rejoice at being picked up and carried home to the perfection of God’s Kingdom, but our rejoicing is done in response to the joy of our Lord. It is His joy we are invited to share in. It is His heart that is filled with gratitude as we allow Him to tenderly carry us home. “Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep,” He says.

Reflect, today, upon this holy image of the Good Shepherd. As you ponder this parable and imagery, be attentive to the various thoughts, memories, emotions and fears that are evoked within you. Each one of us is different, and our Lord deeply desires to come to each one of us right where we are, in the midst of our sins. Pondering the compassion of this Good Shepherd will open the door for our Lord to speak to you and to invite you personally to come to Him, turning away from the ways that you personally have strayed. Do not run away. Remain in confidence as He comes to you. Listen to His voice and say “Yes” to Him as He lifts you up to carry you home.

My gentle Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd. You love me and search for me with diligence and fidelity. May I trust You enough to stop running from You and hiding from Your gentle voice. Please come to me, pick me up, place me on Your shoulders and carry me home. Jesus, I trust in You.

Stewards of Earthly Riches

Friday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time

Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’” Luke 16:1–2

There is much to ponder in this parable and many lessons from which we can learn. To begin, the rich man should be understood as God and you as the steward. This is an important first lesson to learn because it reveals to us that, when it comes to material things in this world, God is the true owner of all—we are only stewards. Think about that carefully. When it comes to all that you own, all your money and possessions, do you hold on to it as if you were the complete master of these material items? Clearly most people do think this way. They may work hard to earn a living, save and buy this and that, build up their bank accounts, and then remain very attached to these material things, seeing them as “mine” rather than as God’s. So the first very challenging lesson we should look at is that all we “own” is actually the possession of God. He only permits us to be stewards of the things of this world. Do you believe that?

As stewards, we must be committed to use the riches within our stewardship only in the way that God wants it used. In this parable, the steward was reported to the rich man for “squandering his property.” We also are guilty of squandering the possessions of God when we use money in accord with our own will and desires rather than those of God’s. This is an exceptionally common tendency, especially for those who have become the stewards of much money. Therefore, the more money that one has stewardship over, the more they will be tempted to squander it, meaning, use it for selfish purposes rather than for the glory of God in accord with His will. This is a hard teaching to accept and live. But these truths are indeed revealed to us by this parable, so it is essential that we listen.

The words spoken by the rich man, “Prepare a full account of your stewardship,” are words that we must all anticipate hearing one day. If that day were today, what would that “full account of your stewardship” look like? Have you worked hard for selfish gain? Or have you worked hard to act with great responsibility over the things God has entrusted to your care?

As the parable continues, we read that the steward acted “prudently” in that he devised a plan to make sure his material needs were met once he lost his position as steward. The “prudence,” however, that is spoken of here is a reference to the worldly, and therefore, evil ingenuity, cleverness, hard work and commitment many people have regarding the material wealth they seek to obtain in this world. Though it is good to be diligent and hardworking in life, too often this is done for the purpose of selfish gain. Just imagine if everyone who worked so hard at getting rich put even more effort into building up the Kingdom of God on earth! How different this world would be if we had so many hard workers for God’s mission.

Reflect, today, upon the simple truth that when it comes to the riches of this world, you are only the steward of what you possess, not its master. God wants you free from the attachment to material wealth so that you will be free to use all that you have for His glory and in accord with His purpose. That does not mean that you must donate all you have to charities. Instead, it means that you continually offer all that you have to God and seek to use it in accord with His will and His will alone. If that means you discern that God wants you to buy something new, then buy something new. If that means giving more away, then give more away. If that means living more simply as a holy sacrifice, then do just that. Money cannot buy happiness. Only embracing God’s will to the fullest will result in the happiness and fulfillment you deeply desire.

My Lord of all riches, You and You alone are the Master of all things created. All that I have and possess are Yours, dear Lord. Help me to believe this and to live my life purely as a steward of the possessions I have. Free me from squandering that which You have entrusted to my care. May I use all for Your glory and only in accord with Your holy will. Jesus, I trust in You.

Doing Small Things Well

Saturday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time

“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.”  Luke 16:10

What are the “small matters” in life? Most likely, if you asked many different people from all walks of life this question, then you would receive many different answers. But if we consider the context of this statement of Jesus, then it is clear that one of the primary small matters of which He speaks is our use of money.

Many people live as though the attainment of wealth were of the highest importance. There are many who dream of becoming rich. Some regularly play the lottery in the very unlikely hope that they will hit it big. Others dedicate themselves to much hard work in their careers so that they can advance, make more money and, so they believe, become happier as they become wealthier. And others regularly daydream about what they would do if they were rich. But from the perspective of God, material wealth is a very small and unimportant matter. Money is useful insofar as it is one of the ordinary means by which we go about providing for ourselves and our families. But it truly is small in importance when it comes to the divine perspective.

With that said, one way to be entrusted by Jesus with “great” matters is to use your money appropriately. We become “trustworthy” in this small matter of money when we only give it the value that it has. In other words, we must see money only as one means to the end of fulfilling God’s perfect will. When we work to rid ourselves of excessive desires and dreams of riches, and when we use what we have in accord with God’s will, then this act on our part will open the door to our Lord to entrust us with much more. What is that “much more?” It’s the spiritual matters that pertain to our eternal salvation and the salvation of others. God wants to entrust to you the great responsibility of building His Kingdom on earth. He wants to use you to share His saving message with others. But He will first wait until you show yourself trustworthy in small matters, such as using your money well. And then, as you fulfill His will in these less important ways, you will begin to see Him call you to greater works.

Reflect, today, upon the fact that God wants great things from you. The goal of all of our lives is to be used by God in incredible ways. If this is something you desire, then do every small act in your life with great care. Show many small acts of kindness. Try to be thoughtful of others. Put others’ needs before your own. And commit yourself to using the money you have for God’s glory and in accord with His will. As you do these small things, you will begin to be amazed at how God is able to begin entrusting you with more, and, through you, great things will happen that have eternal effects in your life and in the lives of others.

My trustworthy Lord, You were entrusted with the greatest good ever known. Your Father in Heaven entrusted to You the salvation of the world. Please help me to share in this task by being faithful to Your holy will in every small way. As I seek to serve You in the small matters of life, I pray that I will be able to be used for even greater ones. My life is Yours, dear Lord. Use me as You will. Jesus, I trust in You.

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