May the Lord give you peace and health in the Holy Spirit. It is 11th November 2023. We celebrate the memorial of St Martin of Tours, a Bishop. We reflect on Romans 16:3-9, 16, 22-27 and Luke 16:9-15.
Has the Church become “Supermarket of Salvation?”
Is our community caring or carless and sensible or scaring?
As we conclude reflecting the letter to the Romans by Paul today as we read the last chapter of the letter. St. Paul mentions people by name in a personal way for their contributions to the welfare of the believing community. He mentions 24 names; five out of the 24 are women.
Recognizing the goodness of the others and acknowledging them in public motivates the others to be inspired as well as provokes the envious attitude in them. St. Paul appreciated and recognized their contribution individually and in the basic ecclesial communities.
We the believers need to develop a gesture of being grateful to every tiny thing we receive. The ministry and the charity should never become one man show or a few people army rather it needs to be the expressions of a loving and believing community. The community that is careless becomes carefree.
Our appreciations and showing gratitude needs to be gender inclusive, unbiased, non-tribal and racial; taking everyone on board who have gone out of their way in sharing and sacrificing in every little way.
In the Gospel, Jesus insists that honesty and sincerity begin with the tiny and trivial things of our lives. How good and sincere are we with a little thing is a proof of the way we would be handling the significant things in the future.
Usage of money must be the least thing in serving the Lord. Money is just a means to serve God not the end. Money infects us with an attitude which God detests. Money is given to us to share not to hoard. If we use money for the welfare for the poor and the needy, it could become the means of salvation.
In the same way, money is spent only for the welfare of one’s family and friends, it could become the means of the personal ruins and selfishness. Money here means the cash, the cattle and the land. Let not money rule our lives rather let our Christian lives rule and master the usage of money.
His holiness Pope Francis painfully remarked at the 18th General Congregation Of The 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod Of Bishops 23rd October 2023: “It is painful to see a “price list” for sacramental services, in some parish offices, just like in a supermarket. Either the Church is the faithful people of God on a journey, saints, and sinners, or she ends up being a business offering a variety of services. And when pastoral ministers take this second path, the Church becomes a supermarket of salvation, and priests, mere employees of a multinational company.”
The injustice, the exploitation, the bondages, and the addictions revolve around the infection of money. The privilege of having money demands the responsibility of the usage for the welfare of the others.
“For what is thought highly of by people is hateful in the sight of God.” (Lk.16:15).
May you be blessed to be grateful and generous with all you have been entrusted with. May God bless you.