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22 September 2019 

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time,


The Word

Am  8,4-7 / 1 Tim 2,1-8 / Lk 16,1-13 (or Lk 16,10-13)


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 open the grain-bins?

We will diminish the ephah,

add to the shekel,

and fix our scales for cheating!

We will buy the destitute for silver,

and the poor for a pair of sandals;

even the worthless grain we will sell!”

The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob:

Never will I forget a thing they have done!


1 Tim 2,1-8


Beloved: First of all, then, 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 the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, 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.


Lk 16,1-13

Then he also 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 he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’  He replied, ‘One hundred containers  of wheat.’  He 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 God and mammon.


In other words…


I was moved at the devotion of these young people. Aside from being faithful to the assigned tasks and schedules of Church activities, they have this cheerfulness and eagerness to learn more about the faith. They make themselves available too for whatever work or service to be rendered for the seminary. Having studied with us in our Alternative Learning System center, many young people find new meanings and depth to their lives. Aside from the daily instruction and other academic stuff, they get themselves exposed also to the way of life of the seminarians, priests and brothers. It is a happy thought that despite ourselves, these young people look up to us as models and inspiration of the Christian life. Some of them grew up in not-so-ideal environments thus acquiring habits, vices that are equally not ideal. Yes, we can say, they were taught in the ways of the world, and yet, I have personally seen many inspiring changes in their manners and view of life through time. Some can even outmatch us in zeal and devotion!


I believe it is in the witnessing to God and to good values. The care shown to them and the affirmation they receive for every good turn are very influential in bringing out the best in them. The exposure to the spiritual activities especially the Holy Mass marks them significantly. While it is a very slow process, it is happening. Gradually, we “churn” out speakers, dancers, writers, singers and achievers who are far from the defeated souls and losers that they were when they first came to the center. I am blessed to hear testimonies about how their live turned around for the better. The greatest achievement for us is when a learner realizes the difference between his or her life before and what it is at present, and how it moves him or her to do better. They found the passion to study. Having been deprived before and now that they are given second and third chances, they are that zealous! Some do not even know any basic prayers, but after sometime, one can see their devotion in the Mass and in prayer, and their growing literacy about the faith. They have this eagerness, enthusiasm, and a particular cheerfulness in them even though life is still hard and had remained mostly about surviving one day at a time. This might be cheesy but most of them would affirm that being in the ALS center and in the seminary helped them encounter Christ, and Christ made all the difference. Well, not every story here is a success. There are setbacks too, but we have become all the more trusting in the Lord’s leadings. These young people are examples of how the Lord can transform people. The world may have given up on them, but the Lord did not.


In the Gospel, Jesus praised the dishonest strategies of the servant. Jesus, of course, did not approve of the dishonesty but He actually affirmed the creativity and the zeal of the servant to do anything and everything just to get his desired post or prize. Sadly, the Lord did not find such passion and fire among those who profess and confess as children of the Light. It seemed the light does not shine nor glow because of stagnation and complacence. Being the elect people of God, the Lord has high expectations but the election does not necessitate a correspondence between profession of faith and the living of the faith. In the first reading, Amos lamented how the chosen people “trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land,” thus, the Lord swore that these people will be held accountable whose deeds He will not forget.


The greatest “prize” is to win heaven, but we sometimes live as though there is no heaven to hope and aspire for. Our mediocrity comes in the way towards a holy and Christian life. We delay our conversion thinking that we can simply repent later. No, this is not what the Lord expects of us. Perhaps this is the reason why the Lord says: “I assure you and most solemnly say to you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.” (cf Matthew 21:31) He asks us to yearn for the divine life that He alone can give. He asks us to welcome Him in our very lives. He expects a certain excellence and perfection in our way of life, and that is the way of Love. It is the Love that does not settle for anything less. It is a Love that rends the heart as an offering and not just the clothes. It is a Love that offers mercy, and not sacrifice. He expects more Love from us, the children of Light.


– Fr. Ferdinand Bajao, SVD (DWS, Tagaytay City)