(Photo illustration by Phil Younk)

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Based on the Gospel of Luke 16: 1-13
Did a friend ever break a promise to you? Did someone ever take money or something else that belonged to you? If so, did you feel angry, hurt or less trusting of others?

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus says, “When people are honest about little things, then they will also be honest about more important things. If you cannot be trusted with something as unimportant as money, how can you be trusted with the most precious treasure of all – God’s love?”

Jesus is speaking about honesty and trust. That means being there for others, not letting them down, keeping promises and not telling secrets – being honest in all we say and do.

In the Gospels for the past few Sundays, Jesus spoke about what it takes to be his disciples. He said people are more important than money and things. Jesus taught about true riches – to love and be loved.

Jesus is not just urging us to be unselfish and to serve and help people as a way to be happy. What Jesus is calling us to do is see that our lives, talents, abilities, time, possessions and money have been given to us to manage and use for building a lasting relationship between ourselves, God and others. To be his disciples we must give up all use of material things that does not have love for God and others as its goal. We must serve others in everything we do. If we faithfully use what God has given us, as he intended, he will give us heaven. This is Jesus’ Good News for us.

An excellent example of serving others is seeing the hundreds of electric and water utility workers, construction workers, medical staff, firefighters, police officers, social workers and other volunteers helping the victims of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other violent storms that have been hitting across the world. Pray for all the people who have suffered because of these disasters and pray for the people who are trying to help.

Another example of serving others is what the church is doing through its missionaries and network of ministries to help people in need not only in Africa, Chile, Colombia, Haiti, Pakistan and other parts of the world but even in our own country.

You can show your love for God and for people in need by making donations to organizations like the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, the Catholic Church Extension Society and so on.

“Children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18).