Daily Bread

Rom 15:14-21; Lk 16:1-8

And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
This is a odd parable. It irritates, much like the story where everyone is paid the same, no matter when they show up for work. It looks like the steward is cheating his master. That’s not the case. Stewards made their living cheating the debtors by charging more than they really owed and keeping the difference. This dishonest steward simply rewrote the debt to reflect what the debtors really owed, hoping to ingratiate himself. So the dishonest steward was finally being honest, albeit for the wrong reason. But you know, doing the right thing, for whatever reason, might just become a habit. And who knows where such habits might lead? Heaven?
Dear God, help me to do good and, by so doing, to someday be good.

Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; 1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17; Jn 2:13-22

Do you not know that you are the temple of God ...?
The Basilica of St. John Lateran was once the papal residence and is still the official parish church of the pope. In the Gospel we hear Jesus admonishing those who would turn his father’s house into a marketplace. If we are each a temple of God’s Spirit, shouldn’t we be careful about allowing ourselves to be treated as mere consumers or commodities? We are more than our possessions, more than our market value. We are God’s dwelling.
Creator God, send your Spirit to live in me that I may be a dwelling of your Son, our brother, Jesus.

Rom 13:8-10; Lk 14:25-33

Everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.
Paul writes that all the commandments are summed up in one: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Who is our neighbor? Jesus tells us in the parable of the good Samaritan that we are neighbor to anyone placed on our path. How do we love our neighbor? Perhaps one clue is in today’s Gospel: renouncement. To be a disciple, we are asked to renounce anyone and anything that can stand in the way of loving another. For me it’s giving up my plans, but my experience is that God is found in the interruptions.
Brother Jesus, help me plan not to plan so much and help me choose love.