Very powerful and stern warnings are present in today’s scripture readings from the book of the prophet, Amos. The first reading, “Hear this, all you who trample on the needy and destroy the poor of the land. The Lord is sworn by the pride of Jacob. The Lord will never forget a thing that they have done.”
Well, we are aware of this type of behavior going on even today. The cheating that goes on in marketplaces, or robberies, or the one who cheats on customers, or the customer who cheats on the business, one who takes advantage of another person’s money. We see that in scripture readings as well. In this particular gospel, the story of the dishonest steward who is caught in his crimes. The dishonest steward, though, teaches a lesson because he was given many blessings but he chose to use those things that he was entrusted with for his own benefit. The dishonest steward was given many blessings, but he used money as a lure, as a way in which that was his false god. It created a false sense of who he was.
Jesus sternly warns against this type of behavior when he says no one can serve two masters. He tells the parable in order to show and to caution us against false idols that we create in our own world. We cannot serve these false idols and serve God at the same time. We cannot serve God and mammon. And of course, mammon is anything which we might show more trust in or more love in that we do trust or love God. Sometimes this mammon could be the temporal or the earthly possessions that we have, or the things of the world, or the illusions of the things of the world, the temporal goods. But yet what the Lord is inviting us is to think of the eternal. The illusive wealth fails, no doubt, but lasting wealth is the riches that God invites us into. Lasting wealth with God is the one that’s eternal in the Kingdom of Heaven. When we think only of the worldly things, it can create a very selfish way of thinking and living. But the Lord invites us to reflect into a deeper relationship with Him, with our God in a relationship of justice, in a relationship of service.
So today, Jesus tells us and warns us not to be serving God and mammon, but rather to serve God alone, to be grateful for our gifts and those things that we’ve been entrusted with, to ask God to help us to use more of our time and talent to well up a thankfulness in each of our hearts, and a generosity in sharing our gifts. So we could be good stewards of God’s creation and God’s treasures. Whether we’re young or old, God blesses us with talents, and treasures, and gifts. He entrusts us with that, not to use them as gods but to give them away and to serve our God in our generosity and love for one another.