Word Columns for Sept. 23

This Sunday is the twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In his reflection, Father Daniel Harrington writes about the subject of money and God in Luke’s gospel: "The words ’money’ and ’spirituality’ are seldom found in the same sentence. Yet Luke and other biblical writers give a good deal of attention to money and possessions. In Luke’s own community there seems to have been some tension between rich and poor, and he took a special interest in addressing it." In 2004 Sister Dianne Bergant considered the Old Testament reading from Amos, and the place of money and power in society at the time: "The prophet is speaking to the wealthy who live in the prosperous northern kingdom. He does not condemn prosperity itself, but the way they use the power that comes from wealth. Rather than take care of the less fortunate in their midst, they take advantage of them for their own benefit." Yet in 2001 Fr. John Donahue noted that the parable in Luke’s gospel seems to contradict the message found in Amos: "The story known as "The Unjust Steward," one of the most enigmatic parables in the Gospels, seems to condone the very kind of skullduggery against which Amos rants. There have been more explanations of this text than the 100 measures of oil owed to the master." Tim Reidy, Online Editor

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