Reflections - September 18, 2016

“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.”  Lk. 16:10
 
This week’s readings give us all a call for justice and charity to the needy.
 
There are two words that can help us to reflect.  Justice and charity for a Christian are not independent realities.  They complement and support each other.  “Charity cannot wash its hands from justice and justice cannot make itself small and unjust and cannot despise the growth of charity”.
 
Today the Parable of Luke invites us to be fair and to practice charity.  Of course, this ethical attitude has to be accompanied by an “upright intention”.  If you look well into the parable you will see that the character that is surprised by the theft of the business owner tries to alter the accounts manipulating the value and costs.  Sometimes we find that these attitudes are repeated in our social environment where prices are altered……and the profits, and in other cases are made fraudulent millionaires with unnecessary treatments…..of course, frauds that you and I pay for as do future generations.  This is called injustice and lack of charity.
 
The prophet Amos in the First Reading puts us on alert when he tells us:  “Here this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land!......Never will I forget a thing they have done”.  This is a call to “discover in a human being our brother because if I do not have for him a gesture of love nor do I have an upright intention in my attitudes to recognize what I have to restore, I am practicing injustice”.
 
Justice practiced “mechanically” without heart is not justice.  I feel that what today’s readings tell us is:  “that the entrance ticket into heaven has to have “the approval of all our brothers and sisters including the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of our society”.  The Lord has a phrase worthy of reflection:  “If when you are presenting your gift at the altar you remember that a brother or sister has something to reproach you, go first to be reconciled with him or her… .   “Reconciliation with a brother or a sister also passes through “having charity and practicing justice”.  Remember:  “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones”.  “When we practice injustice God love suffers.
 
Let us ask the Lord in the Eucharist that we show solidarity and transparency when doing business in the world.  Remember:  “the practice of our Sacraments has to make us more charitable and fair with all”, “recognizing that we sometimes have limitations to help”, but without disengaging of earthly reality.  “You cannot reach God living blind and deaf to the needs of the world.”  Do not forget that justice and charity complement each other and in our society there are many of our brothers and sisters who practice it voluntarily.