What Is This I Hear About You?

Once I encountered two boys who were coming back home after purchasing something. I said “hello” to them and initiated a dialogue by asking, “I didn’t see you in the church the last few Sundays; were you away from the town or did you go to another church?” One of them said, “We were just at home!” I was determined to know his actual cause for not attending the church; so I said, “We keep reminding you all in the catechism classes that you need to attend the church as part of your faith formation; even then why didn’t you make it?” His reply was a matter of surprise to me: “Attending the church on Sundays is not in our family calendar.” This is the trend that is very much prevailing in the minds of some young families, more precisely among the younger generations.

While I had been reflecting on this ‘surprising’ statement, I found an answer in Luke 16:1-6: “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, “What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship….”

“What is this I hear about you?” is a startling question. God knows everything, whatever we do. When we mess up things or fail to do what is important to our soul, he will very well say to us, "What is this?" He looks over the record of our lives and reminds us that we are accountable for all our free actions. Let us take a look at our Sunday obligations, the Lord’s Day. At the face of this, Jesus will ask, "What is this?" Does this question by our Lord not express concern over a wound in our soul?

Yes, we will have to give that full account. The sacrament of reconciliation, prepared for by thoughtful and prayerful examinations of conscience, affords us the opportunities to give that account, piece-by-piece, as a preparation for the final audit. What a grace! Are we taking advantage of it?

When Sunday obligation is not in the calendar of a Catholic family, could the good Lord accuse us of being a squanderer? The steward wasted the wealth of his master. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the younger son was accused of squandering his father´s wealth. To squander is to misuse, to use unwisely, to waste, or to use extravagantly. What about all the graces that God has given to us: our faith, our Catholic Church, the sacraments, the Bible, the example of the saints, the rich deposit of Catholic tradition, the means that have been placed in our hands today, the time we have been offered, the talents we have been given? Are we squanderers? The liturgical year is coming to an end. Jesus is certainly asking us, “Have you grown in faith? As the master asked his steward, if he asks us the same question - “What is this I hear about you?”  - What would be our answer to his question?

Let this be our prayer: “Lord help me to be a good steward so as to one day arrive with you and enjoy you in paradise as my eternal reward.”

In the Service of the Lord,
   Father Thainese Alphonse



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