What Are You A Slave Of?

Is there something that’s always at the back of your mind?

Something that’s hugely important to you; something that causes you to work extra hard; or something that you’re constantly thinking/worried about.

Growing up, that “something” to me was money. I was constantly comparing myself to my richer friends, feeling jealous when I heard them brag about how much angpao they got during Chinese New Year or the new G-Shocks that they got for their birthdays.

So when I got to the working world, money was constantly driving me: To work harder, to save more, to avoid spending. On one hand, it spurred me on to work hard and be prudent. On the other, I could feel myself becoming more and more selfish: Not just with my money, but with my time and love for my friends and family.

Today’s reading (Lk 16:1-13) gave me a striking reminder that I was on the wrong path:

“No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.”

Indeed, there are many things that we can become “slaves” to: Money, the need to be loved by others, the desire to be admired, the fear of being forgotten. Even things that can be seen as good can become an undesirable master: Our children, our parents, our careers.

But these things don’t give us lasting joy. These’s things can’t permanently satisfy our souls. There’s only one Person who can: God. And God makes it really clear in today’s reading that we serve one or the other – we can’t serve both.

In today’s session on contemplative prayer, we had the chance to sit down, meditate, and ask ourselves: Who do we really place our allegiance with?

I was reminded, once again, to let go of my other “masters” and renew my commitment to the one true Master: My Lord, Father and Creator. It’s indeed difficult to achieve – how do we detach ourselves from our immediate priorities, fears and ambitions?

May God give us the strength this week to renew our commitment to be His good and faithful servants!

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