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Don’t Let Jesus Manage Your Money

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Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 12
Luke 15:1-10

Very often in the gospels, when there is conflict, Jesus’ teaching, his story telling, his actions are directed at helping people see things differently, to model or lead them to another way.

In reading these parables we have to be frank. Leaving 99 sheep unguarded to search for one lost sheep is terrible stewardship. The smart move is to protect your – or your master’s – major investment.

“Won't you leave the ninety-nine in the field...?” (Luke 15:4, CEV). Some read this and assume that the shepherd assures the safety of the 99 before searching for the lost one. Not so. The Greek word eremos means a wilderness. The 99 are left in a desolate, not a protected place.

99 sheep will soon enough make more sheep. Risking those 99 is not good business and is just plain irresponsible. No, most people probably wouldn’t leave the 99 unprotected to search out the lost one.

What’s a sheep worth anyway? Before you risk the 99, you’d better …

Peace in Downtown Manhattan

In an article for the Huffington Post, Sister Joan Chittister argues for "another way" to respond to the controversy surrounding the construction of an inclusive and Islamic community center near the World Trade Center site (The 'Ground Zero Mosque' Conundrum: Lessons From the Convent at Auschwitz). She argues by analogy, saying that "Unfortunately, the world has been here before..." and recalling the controversy over a convent and cross at Auschwitz.

I think a lot of Sr. Joan Chittister, and have gained from her writing and speaking. But when viewing this situation through the lens of the convent at Auschwitz, she sees more similarities than I do.

First, some technical differences.

1. The convent was established within camp grounds ("in a building which was utilized during World War II to store the poison gas used in the Auschwitz-Birkenau crematoria," "Auschwitz Convent"); the proposed center is located a short distance (two blocks) f…