Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection – November 5, 2021
31st Friday in Ordinary Time
Rom 15:14-21, PS 98:1-4, Lk 16:1-8
What is this that I hear about you? A dangerous and humbling question, isn’t it? How will we be perceived by others as they tell someone they know about us? A friend of mine was commenting to me one day about how he has a habit of
pre-judging others when he first meets them. Whether it be the clothes they wear, the way they style their hair, if they have tattoos, and if so, what are the tattoos about? And generally, he says, the first words out of their mouths are what he perceives they are really like. Wow, I thought to myself, what a selfish, judgmental way of meeting people. Oh wait, I just judged him too!
I believe Paul was trying to get that very point across to the Christians in Rome. Be careful how you judge others as it may come back to haunt you. Paul felt very strongly that all people deserved to be saved. All people deserve to hear the Gospel of Christ, and all people need salvation. Isn’t that what Jesus said to the disciples? Go, and spread the good news to the ends of the earth. It doesn’t matter what you look like, or what you wear, or how you talk, all people deserve to hear the good news.
The rich man’s steward in Jesus’s story was concerned about how others would treat him if he got fired from his lofty position. He decided to change his ways and be merciful to his debtors. Then, he thought, they will still like me when I am poor. I guess his scheme worked because his master showed him mercy afterwards. But if that steward would have treated everyone fairly to begin with, he would not have been in that predicament. He would have been shown respect despite the job he had.
As Christians, we are called to treat all human beings with dignity and respect, regardless of what they are doing or how they look. Yes, there are evil people in the world, but they will have to answer for their own actions someday. That does not mean we treat them with disrespect and hatred. Jesus says, love your enemies, that does not mean we like what they do, but we are still called to love them. As a Christian, our job is to treat them with love, and bring out the goodness in them that God gave them. I know, a tall order sometimes, but it is still important to treat them with dignity and respect. So, the first time you meet someone, do not judge them based on how they look, act, or what they say, but look at them from Jesus’s eyes, with love and respect, and see the good God created in them. Just maybe, they will then listen to the good news from you, and God will show mercy on them as well.