• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 20 September 2019 19:10

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 2019

Written by Fr Larry Nemer SVD


Sunday Reflection - 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C - 2019

Fr Larry Nemer SVD 150You cannot be the slave of God and of money.

As I thought about this saying I tried to think about some Christian that I may have met in my 59 years of priestly ministry who was a slave of money. I could not think of a single person. All the Christians that I have met have understood what Christ had said and tried not to be a slave of both. This is not to say that I have not met many Christians who are very rich people, or Christians who are concerned about how to become richer; but even the wealthiest Christians that I got to know were never a slave of money. They always realised that God and living the life that God wanted them to live was a higher priority.

This surprised me. In the seminary we were taught that Jesus said it was very hard for a rich person to enter into God’s kingdom. We then concluded that if someone was very wealthy it was at the expense of the poor. Our seminary, when it was built at the beginning of the 20th century, was located on some poor land outside Chicago, swampy and not good for farming or development. But in the following years the swamps were drained and the land not only became good for farming but also for developing. By the time I entered the seminary it was surrounded by the richest suburbs of Chicago. On our day off we seminarians would go hiking in the neighbourhoods and see the million dollar homes of the rich. And in our simplistic and arrogant way we would say to one another: “but do you think they are really happy?” We certainly didn’t think they could be good Christians if they were that wealthy.

I think that at a certain point God decided I needed some further education. When I returned from my studies to teach at our seminary I was assigned to help out on weekends in a nearby parish – one of the wealthiest parishes in the diocese. After a month of saying Masses and preaching there, a man (I had met him earlier through the Cursillo Movement) came into the sacristy and said: “You have a great message, Father, but it is not coming across”. I told him: “I come from a poor family background and I don’t know how to talk to these wealthy people. Can you help me?” He said: “Gladly”.

For almost a year he would come to the seminary on Saturday afternoon and go through my homily with me. This was a man who was not only wealthy but also brilliant. He was Vice-President of one of the largest investment firms in Chicago. He had studied at Harvard University and had come out first in his class in Business and third in his class in Law. And yet he was willing to give this time to me, not to make me a “successful” preacher but because he wanted the parishioners to hear the Gospel message.

I said two Masses every Sunday. He would come to my first Mass and then come to the sacristy to give me a critique as to what points came across well and what points did not. He would then come back for the second Mass to see if I had “learned my lesson”.

This was a man whose time in those days professionally would have been worth at least $200 an hour. Yet he was willing to spend an hour, and sometime an hour and a half (I had a lot to learn!) every Saturday and then come for the two Masses on Sunday. He was concerned that the people would go home every Sunday with truly having heard and been enriched by the message of the gospel.

God taught me a very important lesson those years – that wealthy people also can be very committed Christians.

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