October 17, 2011
1 Cor 1:1-9 and Luke 16:1-12
Tomorrow we celebrate the feast of Saint Luke the Gospel Writer, the Evangelist, who was a companion of Saint Paul and also a physician as we know from the Acts of the Apostles.
It is said that clergy see people at their best, lawyers see people at their worst, and physicians see people as they really are! St. Luke saw people as they really are – in much need of God’s mercy and love, and, in turn, able to respond with mercy, joy and love.
Saint Luke’s Gospel is known as the Gospel of Mercy – his parable of the Prodigal Son is a profound example of His great love for us. And the story of the good thief asking for and receiving great mercy at the very hour of his death also gives us reason to reflect on the great love of God, and thus the reason for our great hope in Him.
Today’s Gospel speaks of the dishonest manager who knew how to forgive those who were in his debt. His master commended him because he was creative in dealing with others, forgiving their debts, and therefore, his master decided to find a way to be merciful to him and to forgive him.
Mercy and forgiveness, two important signs of true love, are two important virtues that pave our way to God, our path to holiness.
Jesus told this story to encourage us to be merciful and to forgive others so that our heavenly Father would also forgive us, and thus we can walk steadily on our way to full communion with Him.
Yes, the world needs love, but it also needs forgiveness. Lebanon needs forgiveness. The Middle East – a mosaic of Christians, Muslims and Jews – needs forgiveness. Our Church needs forgiveness, our families need forgiveness.
Have you ever tried to live in a world without mercy and forgiveness? It is a cold, harsh and unbearable world.
Where does forgiveness come from? Does it come from other people? Yes, it does; but first, as disciples of Jesus, forgiveness must come from us.
In the Epistle, St. Paul, a companion of St. Luke, reminds us that we have been sanctified by Christ and called to be saints and that the One who called us is faithful.
Dearly beloved, the dishonest manager of the Gospel today has something valuable to teach us. The master is amused by his creative response and his initiative to forgive and Jesus tells us this master is an example to us.
Let us therefore, practice forgiveness so that we in turn may be forgiven. And let us pray for our world so that forgiveness, love and mercy will be the signs of God’s kingdom among us.
Saint George, pray for us. Our Lady of Lebanon, pray for us. Amen.
(Reprinted with permission.)