Saint Theresa Parish

A Roman Catholic Community
5045 E. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-0850 Parish Office
(602) 840-0871 Parish Fax  

Parish Email info@sttheresaphx.org

Parish Office Hours
Monday through Thursday
9:00AM-Noon & 1:00PM-5:00PM
Friday 9:00AM-Noon          Sunday 8:30AM-12:30PM

Closed Saturdays
& most Federal Holidays.

Liturgy Schedule
Saturday Vigil Mass 4PM
Sunday Masses
7:30AM
9:00AM (Liturgy with Children)
11:00AM and
5:00PM (Teen and Young Adult)

Daily Masses
Monday through Friday
6:30AM and Saturday at 8:00AM
Holy Day Masses as announced in bulletin prior to the Holy Day.

Sacrament of Reconciliation
(Confession)
Saturday, 9:00AM to 10:00AM
Wednesday, 5:00PM to 6:00PM and by appointment

Pastor

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Parochial Vicar 

(Associate Pastor)

Rev. Joachim Adeyemi

Rev. J.C. Ortiz

Assisting Priest

Rev. Paul Peri

Deacons

Colin F. Campbell

Mark Kriese

Ralph Ulibarri

 

Saint Theresa Catholic School
5001 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018

www.stcs.us

(602) 840-0010 School Office
(602) 840-8323 School Fax

 

 

Administration
« Reflections - September 29, 2019 | Main | Reflections - September 15, 2019 »
Thursday
Sep192019

Reflections - September 22, 2019

My Brothers and Sisters,

Today’s Gospel (Luke 16:1-13) is one of those passages that we can read and end up scratching our head, thinking “what was that all about?” Jesus tells a story about a dishonest steward who has made a mess of taking care of his master’s property – so the employer, intent on firing this servant, calls for a “full account” of the man’s stewardship.

Knowing that “his goose is cooked,” the steward schemes to ingratiate himself with the master’s debtors (once again, using the employer’s wealth for his own benefit) by reducing the amount each owed to the master so that - once he’s fired - the dishonest steward will be welcomed into their homes.

Now one would think, using human logic, that master/employer of the steward would be furious over how the steward has essentially defrauded his employer so that when the employer fires him, he has a chance at a job with one of the master’s debtors whose nest the steward helped to feather.  But no – instead, the parable ends with a jolt: Jesus says “And the master of that steward commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.” What? The ending of the parable is completely contradictory to what we’d expect.

So, what’s the point that Jesus is trying to make to his disciples? Actually there is probably more than one point on Jesus’ mind as he teaches using the parable.

In the verses following the end of the story, Jesus observes that “the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than the children of light.” He’s saying that those who are “worldly” exercise an enterprising type of creativity when it comes to making money and looking after themselves, while the “children of light” (the disciples) typically do not. Reading between the lines, the Lord is encouraging his disciples to be every bit as clever, “enterprising” and “prudent” in living discipleship and spreading the Gospel as the steward in the parable was in saving his own skin.  The steward – in his manipulation of the master’s books – not only came out smelling like a rose, the master’s debtors also thought highly of the master, since part of their debt had been forgiven. In the final analysis, it was a win-win situation… even though the steward’s methods in getting there were a bit sketchy. Jesus also echoes the steward’s modus operandi when he tells his disciples: “Make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you may be welcomed into eternal dwellings.” Could “dishonest wealth” mean those things (money, possessions, power) that people think are the means to ultimate fulfillment?  Jesus is telling his disciples to use earthly wealth to “make friends” (help others) in this life, so that they can find true fulfillment in the Kingdom of God.

The passage ends with Jesus pointing out that no one can serve two masters: “he will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.” If there was any doubt in the disciples’ minds at that point about what Jesus was saying, the Lord makes it clear in the final verse when he states point-blank: “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” Mammon refers to wealth, possessions, prestige – those things that might seem to make a person “great” in this world; those things through which a person thinks that he or she can find fulfillment. Jesus reminds his disciples – you and me – that our priority must always be focused on serving God first and foremost (even though “serving mammon” is a HUGE temptation). When we prioritize following Christ, living according to God’s plan and serving God by the way in which we live our lives… it’s then we find true fulfillment, both in this life and in the next.

 

God’s peace and blessings,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Pastor