Phil 4,10-19 / Lk 16,9-15
Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all these things and sneered at him. And he said to them, “You justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts; for what is of human esteem is an abomination in the sight of God.”
IN OTHER WORDS
Japanese people are known for their honesty especially while on work duty. I have experienced this many times working as a missionary here in Japan. One time, I was in a hurry to buy some food and rushed out after paying at the counter. Then, to my surprise, a store keeper ran after me calling my attention. I was a bit nervous because I didn’t know what had gone wrong. Did I accidentally get something from the shop without paying? Before he could speak, I tried to ask, in my limited
Japanese, what had been the matter. He kindly replied in English, “Sir, you forgot your change.”
Then, he turned over to me a tiny one yen coin with a receipt.
This simple experience reminds me of today’s Gospel passage, “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.” The store keeper gave me the change out of his sense of duty, yet for me, it was a great act of honesty. The value of honesty is part of our being Christians, yet often times we ignore doing small acts of honesty, like returning a borrowed ball pen, reporting lost objects, paying the right price, and others. We still thank God, however, of the many taxi drivers who return lost possessions, street vendors who give the right change, and other simple people who do similar honest acts.
I am always struck by the poster from the group Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and
Professionals that goes, “Be honest, even if others are not; even if others will not; and even if others cannot.”
- Bro. Carl Milos R. Bulilan, SVD | Japan
The Word in other words 2016
An annual project of Logos Publications, The WORD in Other Words Bible Diary contains daily scripture readings and reflections written by priest, brothers, and sisters of the three congregations founded by St. Arnold Janssen (the SVD, SSpS, and SSpSAP). It hopes to serve as a daily companion to readers who continually seek the correlation of the Word of God and human experience.