November 8, 2017
"...Owe nothing to one another..."
"Blessed is the man who is gracious and lends to those in need."
"Which of you wishing to construct a tower
does not first sit down and calculate the cost
to see if there is enough for its completion?"
In our world today, there are certain "untouchables," even among like-minded believers. These are areas of your life where your decisions, by social convention, are beyond question and challenge (living now in the Midwestern land of passive-aggression, this even more painfully obvious). Health, family decisions, and money, to name a few.
But why should we be silent about finances when God, as we see in each of today's readings, is not?
As is the case with so many other sensitive topics, our Lord does not shy away. He frequently praises prudence and (reasonable) frugality and often condemns showy displays of wealth. These are some of his easier teachings when it comes to our precious bank accounts. But what about when Jesus talks about "counting the cost" or tells the tough-love parable about the servant who buries his master's talent?
What many of our generation call "adulting" (oooooh how that term makes my blood boil. You want praise for finally being responsible?! ....anyway...), is what Jesus requires of us: good stewardship.
This is often boring. Or overwhelming.
As someone who's bounced between 4 insurance plans in the last 2 months for various reasons, I can attest to this. Yet while the easy response is to make quick decisions and not touch our finances again, we are called to do more.
We're not simply called to be careful or frugal, but to be smart. We are called to invest our time and energy and research. We are called to make the most, not simply avoid the worst. Every good thing in our lives has not just been given, but entrusted to us. We have a responsibility to appreciate our gifts, yes, but also to utilize them well, using them in wisdom and prudence.
So, if you have some decisions to make that have been put on the back burner, I challenge you to approach them. Pay off your debt. Investigate insurance plans, including life and disability insurance options that, while sometimes scary to consider, will protect your family. Plan for your retirement. Actually tithe (you know, 10%). Give to the causes you admire. Cut out the frivolous subscriptions that you've left ticking away month after month in your account.
Pray and discuss, then act. Act in faith that our Lord is the God of everything in our lives, even those "untouchables" like money. Jesus is not afraid of going there, so neither should we be.
Praised be Jesus Christ, Lord of All.