September 22, 2013 –– Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“You cannot serve both God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). Without even knowing what mammon may be, we get the stewardship message — what is important to us? God, or all of the other things in our lives which may distract us from living God-centered lives.
Scholars cannot universally agree on the origins of the word “mammon.” In Greek the word was mammōnas, which means “wealth or treasure.” In Latin the word was mammon, which translated “riches and avarice.” However, it is in Christ’s native language, Aramaic, where we may find the stewardship truth. The Aramaic word was mamon. That word had a dual meaning to the Lord in His own tongue —yes, it meant “riches,” but it also meant “chaos, darkness.”
That may have been the point Jesus was trying to make in the Parable of the Unjust Steward. It is not just devotion to things that provide us with a major roadblock to living lives of stewardship. Those same “riches” may place us in a world of darkness, not the light of Christ which results from living as good stewards. Jesus is constantly advising us to be very careful about attaching our hearts to “things.” Truly we cannot serve both God and mammon.