“I can do all things in him who strengthens me. ”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Philippians (Philippians 4:10-19)
Brethren: I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me; you were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I complain of want; for I have learnt, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learnt the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving except you only; for even in Thessalonica you sent me help once and again. Not that I seek the gift; but I seek the fruit which increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more; I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 112:1b-2.5-6.8a and 9 (R. 1a)
R/. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
Blessed the man who fears the Lord,
who takes great delight in his commandments.
His descendants shall be powerful on earth;
the generation of the upright will be blest. R.
It goes well for the man who deals generously and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
He will never be moved;
forever shall the just be remembered. R.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear.
Open-handed, he gives to the poor;
his justice stands firm forever.
His might shall be exalted in glory. R.
ALLELUIA 2 Corinthians 8:9
Alleluia. Though Jesus Christ was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. Alleluia.
“If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 16:9-15)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations. “He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at him. But he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
St Paul is depicted as showing gratitude to the Philippians for their generosity towards his mission. Missionaries should learn how to be self-sufficient, live in all circumstances – abundance, want, hunger. Those who support missionaries accumulate treasures for themselves in heaven. That is the “profit that accrues to their account”. The gospel of today calls on us to be faithful in everything no matter how small. Doing little things well, doing ordinary things in an extraordinary manner will fetch us greater things in this life and in the world to come. Since no slave can serve two masters, God’s servants must serve him at every moment and with all their energy. There is no half-measure, part-time and spare-time job in the service of God.