22 September, Sunday – Purposeful life

22 September 2019

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Amos 8:4-7

Listen to this, you who trample on the needy
and try to suppress the poor people of the country,
you who say, ‘When will New Moon be over
so that we can sell our corn,
and sabbath, so that we can market our wheat?
Then by lowering the bushel, raising the shekel,
by swindling and tampering with the scales,
we can buy up the poor for money,
and the needy for a pair of sandals,
and get a price even for the sweepings of the wheat.’
The Lord swears it by the pride of Jacob,
‘Never will I forget a single thing you have done.’

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1 Timothy 2:1-8

My advice is that, first of all, there should be prayers offered for everyone – petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving – and especially for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverent lives in peace and quiet. To do this is right, and will please God our saviour: he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time, and I have been named a herald and apostle of it and – I am telling the truth and no lie – a teacher of the faith and the truth to the pagans.

In every place, then, I want the men to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, with no anger or argument.

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Luke 16:1-13

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘There was a rich man and he had a steward denounced to him for being wasteful with his property. He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.” Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed. Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”

Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?” “One hundred measures of oil” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down straight away and write fifty.” To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty.”

‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.
‘And so I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity. The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches? And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?
‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’

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No servant can be the slave of two masters

There was once a friend of mine who had to worry about care giving arrangements for her young child and her professional career. She was unsure which was important for her. This tension is faced by many people in their lives. But in the spiritual domain, this is presented to us in a special way in the Gospel today – what is important in our life?

Each of us hold many identities in our lives. We live the life in our professional domain, our family life and our social life. Yet I believe that these are masks that we put on. Jesus invites us today to re-focus our attention towards what we are called to do in our lives. It is to use the resources we possess to advance the mission of a Christian – to evangelise the word of God to all around us.

God is calling you and me to a special purpose in our lives. This requires a discernment into the voice of God. There will be distractions in our life but Jesus reminds us that we can only serve one master well.

Through prayer and reading of Scripture, God speaks to us and shows us the way that He wants us to follow. If we co-operate with Him, it will lead us to a life filled with joy and peace. It is not a life which is obstacle-free or free of problems but a life where we can handle the challenges confidently.

I pray for each one of you that you respond generously to God’s call.

(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us accept the plan you have for us.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who help others clarify their purpose in life.

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