Saturday, November 11, 2006

31st Saturday in Ordinary Time (II)
Memorial of St. Martin of Tours
Mastering and Being Mastered

Readings: Philippians 4:10-19; Psalm 112:1b-2, 5-6, 8a and 9; Luke 16:9-15

To live in this world of ours is quite inevitably to come into contact with a myriad of different things, situations and people, all of which often tug at us in many different directions, make many different, even opposing, demands on our time, energy and resources. How does a Christian respond constructively? Does one simply go with the flow – indiscriminately follow every impulse that comes along? It’s often only a matter of time before those who do that experience the confusion, anxiety, and sense of meaninglessness that results from such a course of action. Is one then to try to escape everything – literally or figuratively to flee to some remote mountain hideaway? Again, it is only a matter of time before those who try realize the futility of such a course of action. However remote or well-guarded the hideaway, whether it be in a far-off place or deep within ourselves, the world quite inevitably catches up with us.

Our readings today provide a different solution. No servant can be the slave of two masters… says Jesus. To which Paul adds: there is nothing I cannot master with the help of the One who gives me strength. The Christian way to deal with our predicament is first to continually ask ourselves: who is my master? And it is only when we allow the almighty God to sit enthroned in our hearts and lives – that our relations with all other things and people become rightly ordered, that we can truly immerse ourselves among them without losing ourselves. It is only when this happens that we can experience the strength of which Paul speaks. It is only when we gradually allow God to be our one and only master that we can in turn learn how to rightly master life’s demands.

How might we allow God to sit more firmly upon the thrones of our hearts this day?

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