Sat 11th Nov 2017
31st Week in Ordinary Time (A)
St Martin of Tours

Rom. 16:3-9,16,22-27
Ps. 145(144):2-3,4-5,10-11
Lk. 16:9-15     (Ps Wk III)

“… the condition of a soul that is so worldly  and preoccupied with earthly riches, honours and affairs that, even if it sincerely wishes to enjoy the beauties of the castle (here lives the king, i.e. God), it is prevented by these distractions”, says St Teresa of Avila in her book The Interior Castle. This is her way of illustrating what Jesus spells out: “You cannot be the salve both of God and of money.” (Lk. 16:13).

A person’s attitude to money should not be such that it controls him, his beliefs and his actions. Jesus repeatedly describes money as “tainted” (vv. 9 & 11). It is not tained in itself, but in the way it is used and regarded. The comforts and gratifications of money can become an exaggerated and sullied love which can only lead to damnation. Thomas a Kempis comments in this connection that “nothing so mars and defiles the heart of man as impure attachment to created things, the attachment being what money stands for. To be trusted with money is to be able to deal with it in holy indifference, which produces in a person the kind of spiritual poverty loved by God.

This spiritual poverty, this total dependence on God's goodness, is what Paul speaks of to the Romans when he proclaims the good news of Jesus Christ, “a mystery kept secret.” (v. 26).

Lord, grant us the grace to love You without any motive of self-interest but with an utterly detached zeal. Amen.