This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Sunday of the Twenty-Fifth Week In Ordinary Time
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Jesus said to his disciples, “…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.”
Small matters. Most things in life begin small, even our biggest struggles and triumphs.
For good or for bad, small matters.
I know of many people who struggle with pornography. I know many who struggle with drug addiction and eating disorders. In almost all these cases, I can say their problem started off small and when they were small. But over time, their “small” problem began to occupy more and more of their precious time and attention. It began to consume their thoughts and take over their life. Today, they are at the point where their problem has taken on life of its own, sucking life out of them and demanding more and more from them. They can’t keep up. So now they resort to stealing and cheating and to doing things they never dreamed they would ever do.
“Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! …Who buy the lowly for silver, and the poor for a pair of sandals; and even sell the refuse of the wheat!”
Small matters! Boy does it matter, for good or for bad.
St. Therese of Lisieux (or of the little flower) understood how small matters, and in a very good way. Although this saint died young, she is considered a giant among the theologians of the Church. Why? Because she discovered that love can manifest itself in simple (little) ways. Her “little way” is a remarkable testimony of how one little soul can unite to God’s enormous plan of love and make a difference in the world.
Small and significant. When the Pope said the Church should stop obsessing over abortion, gay-marriage and sex, I believe he was indirectly asking the media to stop obsessing over abortion, gay-marriage and sex. If you don’t believe me, then just Google his name and you will know what I mean. And from the latest media reports, you would think his recent 12,000-word interview consisted of just 3-words.
So read this beautiful interview, available from America magazine, and you will find a treasure-trove of reality, simplicity, humility – well, Christianity. In other words, you will find so much more than what the media drools over.
I would even dare say you might find yourself in the Pope’s words and in his shoes.
“Who are you?” This was the very first question the Pope was asked. This is what he said: “I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”
Wow! This is deep. This is profound. So much in so few words. Now, please don’t think Pope Francis was the very first Pope to admit this. No. In fact, every Pope, starting with St. Peter (cf. Lk 5:8), has admitted this. Maybe that is why it didn’t make much news. But calling oneself a sinner is still big news to me because it’s rare news, especially in the Western world that no longer believes in a little word called sin.
Unfortunately, we also have a bad habit of linking things small with the word insignificant, as if the two were meant to be with one another.
Think about it, some people think the Earth is insignificant simply because it is physically small. Some still believe that one person is insignificant because they are only one. They think small is insignificant because it is small. Well, it is not. Everything is significant. Everything! Even nothing is significant, especially if something is made from “it”.
So now we know the Pope is a sinner. This is significant! We know that sinners still exist – at least one – and that this sinner is a Catholic, of course!
Believe me, this is great news! This is Good News! For if sinners still exist, then a Savior is still needed, which is even bigger news!
But I have noticed something. Why is it always the humble, the meek and humble of heart, who call themselves sinners? Why not the powerful? Why are the lambs willing to admit being wolves, while the wolves continue to dress like lambs?
I do not believe Kim Jung-un, Joseph Stalin, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Pol Pot, Jean-Paul Sartre and others have ever admitted to being sinners. If anything, I believe they would all agree that being a sinner is irrelevant since neither God or sins exist. I am who I am. In Hebrew, this means “Yahweh.”
Historically speaking, it means the losing side of history.
The beauty of being a sinner. What is weird about declaring oneself a sinner is what happens next: it immediately opens the person up to forgiveness, which opens them up to being declared a saint. Now don’t forget what the Holy Father said. He made it very clear. He’s not trying to fool anyone. He’s not trying to act humble. He’s not trying to make a good impression. No. He made it very clear. “This is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner.”
Great things can begin from small acts, and this was the shot that was heard across the world.
Let’s see if other world leaders will follow.
Now I am not a world leader, but I will admit it again: I am a sinner. Really! And I am not proud of it.
When the Pope says he is a sinner, an honest-to-God sinner, he is opening himself up to God and encouraging others to enter a brave new world with him: the world of redemption and salvation. And by admitting he is a sinner, the Pope is also admitting he cannot serve two masters: himself and his Savior, his greed and his Creed.
But most importantly, it means that no matter what people may think of us, the truth is the truth…and the Truth shall set us free. (66)
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- lk 16:1-13