“No Servant can serve two masters.”
As can happen in the case of a divorce, a little boy was once asked by a judge which parent he preferred to live with. He became visibly shaken and upset; sobbing he replied, “I’m only one kid.”
This incident was related to me some thirty years ago in my first parish by a man who had once been that little boy. Even though he had become a fully grown adult, you could easily hear the pain in that man’s voice and see the hurt in his facial expression as he recalled that moment of decision to go off with one or the other of his parents. It strikes me that it is inherent in each and every one of us human beings to remain whole and not to be torn apart inside. But when we try to serve two masters, both God and “mammon,” that is exactly what happens—we become torn apart. And a person “torn” is not going to be a good anyone—not a good child, not a good parent, not a good student, not a good teacher, not a good priest, not a good manager or administrator…and so on.
At some time, of course, life is bound to pull us in two different directions at the same time. At that point Jesus, “The Way, the Truth, and the Life (or someone or something that leads us to him), becomes the integrator—the redeemer—to restore us and make us whole again. And don’t we owe a lifetime of gratitude when that occurs?
This Sunday why not think on how Jesus’ observation about serving two masters has played out or is playing out in our lives? And those of us who may be struggling with “God and mammon” issues might well take heed of Jesus’ suggestion that we should be as shrewd and cunning about our spiritual lives and relationship with God as is the servant praised by his master in today’s Gospel. Someone said to me just recently about a moment of truth in a relationship, “He and I are going to have a ‘Come To Jesus Moment’.” That’s exactly what I think today’s Gospel is.