In today’s first Scripture reading, St. Paul writes to the Philippians—urging them to “hold firm in the Lord.” These early converts to Christianity faced concerns, interests and problems similar to our own: making a living, paying their taxes, staying true to their beliefs, etc. Paul assures them that they are also “citizens of heaven” and therefore not to be overly bound to things of the earth. The Gospel links with this message in an indirect manner. A rich man’s steward is guilty of mismanaging his employer’s property. Knowing he will be fired, the steward strikes deals with his employer’s clients. He makes sure they will be indebted to him, grateful for his shrewd moves, saving them money. Being citizens of both earth and heaven brings, at times, conflict of interest. But we must keep hold of our ultimate purpose and goal in life: belonging to God and acting accordingly.
By Betty Larson, OSB