“Whom—or What—Will You Serve?”

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St. Martin of Tours

Romans 16:3-9, 16, 22-27; Luke 16:9-15

 

St. Martin had to leave the Roman army when he became a Christian. He couldn’t reconcile his military service with his new faith.  He couldn’t serve both God and Caesar.  More to the point, he had to choose between God and mammon, which throughout history has been at the heart of many imperial ambitions. 

The temptation to mammon isn’t unique to the military.  It’s everywhere:  politics, entertainment, law, the arts, medicine, science and, as Jesus points out in today’s gospel passage, even religion.  It’s not a matter of class or culture, either.  A person can be wealthy and use that wealth for God’s greater glory and to serve others (e.g. St. Katharine Drexel).  One can also be of modest means and be seduced by materialism and consumerism, driven by a pursuit of wealth that is ultimately just a house of (credit) cards. 

Jesus challenges us:  “Whom—or what—will you serve?”  How we answer that question will answer many others.—JC