My Dear Sisters and Brothers! Now we can think that these passages from the Bible should be sent to the mighty of this world. However this is the message for us, followers of Christ. You may still remember those three parables about the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son we had last Sunday. St Luke recorded that those parables of mercy Jesus told the crowds who followed him. Today’s parable about the astute steward Jesus told only his disciples. Why? Because he wanted his disciples to be different then the society fixated on money. We read in the Gospel of Matthew: “Do not store up treasures for yourself on earth (…) But store up treasures in heaven.” The real treasure is, as Jesus said in the Gospel today: “The poor, your friends, who will welcome you into the tents of eternity.” We know that Jesus gave the keys to the Kingdom of heaven to St Peter. However, as we can read it in the Gospels, and as the Church Fathers read it, St Peter opens the gates to heaven only to those who can present recommendation from the poor they helped during their life on earth.
We may think that helping the poor is the job for social services we have. However it is a call Jesus wants you and me to take very seriously because whatever we do to one of those least in our society we do it for Jesus. “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
My Dear Fellow Believers! In the city of Cracow, in Poland, where the last World Youth Day was held there is a church built 600 years ago by a polish queen. She supervised the project personally. It didn’t only involve the progress of the structure but the wellbeing of the workers as well. One day she spotted a quarryman who looked sad. She approached him and found out that his wife was seriously sick. The man didn’t have money for treatment so the queen removed the golden strap from her shoe and gave it to the man. She didn’t realise that the shoe slipped off her foot and when she walked away she stepped on the fresh plaster leaving her footprint there. The grateful man didn’t miss that. He cut the section out of the stone and inserted it in the wall of the church they were building. Interestingly the good queen wasn’t canonised for 600 years due some political tensions which occurred at that time in Europe. But she wasn’t forgotten. The people remembered queen Hedwig and for centuries prayed to her and venerated her. She was canonised only 19 years ago and the basis for her canonisation was continues veneration she had among the people for such a long time.
“Use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity.” Saint Hedwig took that message seriously. She had lots of poor people who could recommend her for heaven. How many recommendation letters from the poor have we collected so far?