25th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year C 2016:
You cannot serve both God and Mammon. Now, you might be thinking: that’s OK, I don’t know this Mammon chap. He might be a decent fellow but I’ve got no interest in serving him… But, Mammon is not a person. Mammon is the syriac word that means: wealth or riches. So Jesus is saying you cannot serve both God and the love of money, wealth, fame, pleasure, whatever. You cannot serve 2 masters, you will love one and hate the other.
As I was reading this passage this week, this sentence really stuck out to me. You cannot serve two masters. How true that is! I can say that I only work the best when I’m focused on one thing. I know that in these days we like to think that we can multitask. But, I don’t think that’s true. The more tasks we do at once, the worse we end up doing all the tasks. Jesus is telling us something very important about our relationship to God. It works the same way. He has to be number 1 in our life, or he will end up being last.
I see this as a real struggle in my own life. I’m sure it’s a struggle in your life as well. It boils down to this question: do I build my life around my relationship with God, or do I try to fit God into life?
I’m not saying that everyone needs to quit their jobs, leave their families behind, run off and join the monastery. That is the vocation of some, but not all of us. Most of you are called to family life as married persons or as devoted sons and daughters. I’m called to priesthood. The Sisters of Notre Dame are called to religious life. We are also blessed with many single people who give their time and talent to further God’s kingdom. We are all called to a unique vocation. But, before all that, we are called to be holy. This means we are called to be in relationship with Christ, to follow Christ, to serve Christ. But, we cannot serve two masters. So where do you fit? Do you see yourself as a Christian Father, or a Father who happens to be Christians? Do you see yourself as a Christian banker, or a banker who happens to be Christian? Are you a Christian American, or an American who just happens to be Christian? How you answer these questions has a huge impact. In everything we do, we are called first to be followers of Christ. It should affect all that we do, inform all that we do, guide all that we do.
First of all, look at your time. Do you build your life around prayer and the sacraments, or do you try to fit them in when you can? It makes a huge difference. How many families out there would like to pray as a family? I think most of you would say that you would like to do that, maybe pray a family rosary. But, if you say: as soon as we get 15 free minutes, then we will say the rosary, how often would you pray the rosary? A better idea would be: as a family, we are going to get up 15 minutes earlier, get ready for work/school by 7:15, then we will pray the rosary before our life gets crazy. If you did that every day, you would be building your life around God and not just trying to fit him in.
I read an article the other day about St. Francis University. They have initiated something called “Sacred Time.” Every day between 11:30 and 12:00 there is nothing allowed to be scheduled on the university. No classes or activities. This way faculty and students can go to Mass or have a time to connect with God. What a great idea! What is your sacred time? If an entire university can carve out 30 minutes a day, I’m betting each of us can do it too.
You cannot serve two masters. So who will you serve? I know that I want to serve God and to do his will. But, I know that I need to do a better job of building my day and my life around God as opposed to trying to fit in prayer and devotion. One thing I’ve learned over the years, I never regret giving time and attention to God. It always makes my life better.