Little Whispers, Maan Fernandez

Empty-Handed

First Reading
Amos 8:4-7
Hear this, you who trample upon the needy
and destroy the poor of the land!
“When will the new moon be over,” you ask,
“that we may sell our grain,
and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat?
We will diminish the ephah,
add to the shekel,
and fix our scales for cheating!
We will buy the lowly for silver,
and the poor for a pair of sandals;
even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!”
The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Never will I forget a thing they have done!

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8
R. (cf. 1a, 7b) Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
to seat them with princes,
with the princes of his own people.
R. Praise the Lord who lifts up the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Beloved:
First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved
and to come to knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God.
There is also one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as ransom for all.
This was the testimony at the proper time.
For this I was appointed preacher and apostle
— I am speaking the truth, I am not lying —,
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Gospel
Luke 16:1-13
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.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said,
‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’
The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
“For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than are the children of light.
I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
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.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”


peter-conlan-LEgwEaBVGMo-unsplash.jpg
“I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” (Lk 16:9)

REFLECTION
During a recent out-of-town beach trip with friends and family, we decided to check out the town’s famous waterfalls to kill some time. Little did we know, it was going to be quite a hike before we get to the falls—none of us were wearing anything close to a hiking-friendly outfit. Obviously unprepared for the spur of the moment hike, we decided to just go for it since we were already there anyway—despite all of us just wearing our rubber slippers and swimming attires. And just as we were preparing ourselves for the last-minute adventure, lo and behold—rain. We had no choice but to leave all our belongings (aka our phones and cameras) inside the van, since we didn’t have any bags or umbrellas to protect them during the hike. I, being my sentimental self who liked to document events, was pretty bummed that none of us could bring a phone to take photos.

And so, when all of that was said and done, we were finally off. Bringing just ourselves—no phones, no umbrellas, no bags, no wallets, nothing. At first, it felt weird walking so empty-handed—literally—while we were in the middle of nowhere. But surprisingly, it felt nice and liberating, too. All we could hear were ourselves (and of course, the other hikers) talking, laughing, and the relaxing stream of fresh water.

All of a sudden, we were forced to just live in the moment—with no Spotify to play some tunes, no Instagram to take stories with, and no other distractions to tinker with. We were stripped off of what we normally wouldn’t be able to leave our homes without, but it allowed us to shift our focus on the more important things in front of us—which were my siblings and our friends; and the very essence of why we were even there, the adventure and experience that we were all yearning for when we first planned the trip. Before we knew it, we were greeted by the view of the waterfalls—in which we happily jumped in for a swim!

Today, Jesus is inviting us to take a step back, disconnect, and re-evaluate our focus—are we too caught up in earthly things, that we are forgetting about the one true treasure that outweighs all treasures of this world? Jesus is reminding us to set our hearts on Him, on His perfect and unwavering love—because our life’s true and greatest wealth is in His Cross.

Reflection Song

Crowns by Hillsong Worship

Author

wc-maan

Click on the bubble to find out more about Maan!

Photo by: Peter Conlan (@peterconlan at unsplash.com)

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