The Ninth Sunday after Trinity

Today's Reading: Luke 16:1-13

Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 31:1-13; 1 Corinthians 7:1-24

"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Luke 16:13)

In the Name + of Jesus. Money got the steward into trouble. He was embezzling from his master. Money got him out of his problem. He altered the bills of the people who owed his master money and figured they would give him a place when he got kicked out. That's how the world works. Money can buy happiness--for a little while.

Jesus knows that money greases the wheels of this world. But He teaches us that Christians have something even better. We have the forgiveness of sins. Since Jesus died for us and rose again, our sins have been wiped out. Since you were baptized into Jesus, your absolution, the Supper, your sins are gone. But not only are your sins gone, you can forgive the sins of others.

The same Master who has forgiven you has given you the forgiveness which is a blessing and comfort to others. Consider the people in your life who have sinned against you. Do you forgive them? Treat them as if they didn't sin against you? What a comfort for them that they aren't dead to you because of what they've done!

Or do you hold their sins against them? Tell them they're fired-- out of your life for what they've done? It's easy and even feels good in a twisted way to think that we can hold a grudge. We can convince ourselves that being mad at someone is necessary to be happy! Crazy, isn't it?

But the Lord has put away your sins. He's done that so that you will have a place with the Father forever. And He gives you such forgiveness as you can pass on to others so that they may be comforted knowing they have a place, too. What joy that God does not hold your sins against you! What joy you don't hold someone else's sins against them! All because of Jesus. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Let Your merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Your humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please You; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Trinity 9)

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