I have two very special sampaguita (Philippine jasmine) plants in my garden. One was flourishing, growing, and blooming with flowers. The other was struggling to live, with yellowish leaves, stunted growth and not a single bud in sight.

Going on a break I paid someone to care for the plants. I instructed her to make sure the struggling one at least makes it until I return and the flourishing one to remain vibrant and healthy.

On my return I was surprised that the struggling plant improved a lot, with a little flower bud growing in a branch. But the flourishing one had all its leaves drooping, falling and some branches just sort of dried up! Did they change fate?

I wondered what my temporary gardener did to my plants! Though I paid her, I resolved never to ask her to care for my plants again. And of course, no chocolates for her from my trip!

The Lord speaks to us of a special gospel trait! God is looking for people who he can trust. He gives a parable of someone who has done something terribly wrong but in the end, was able to make up for his sins by showing kindness to others.

Is there a model of trustworthiness in this world? How do we become trustworthy?

Jesus is the trustworthy person, the paragon of one who earned the trust of the heavenly Father.

We become trustworthy by imitating the Lord in the way he deals with us.

While becoming trustworthy is treated fleetingly in our gospel, the Letter to the Hebrews speaks more about how Jesus was found trustworthy.

There it says that Jesus became all things for us that he did not refuse to embrace us as his brothers and sisters.

Furthermore, the Lord sacrificed himself for us, helping us find the way to the Father when we lost our path and direction. He wanted to become like us, so that he can be merciful to us (read Heb 2-3).

Because of his love and his dedication to help others, the Father found Jesus worthy of his trust.

Today’s gospel shows us a man who initially thought only of himself. In order to save himself, he began to think of good things for his neighbors. Maybe his intentions were not very pure, but at least, he was able to straighten himself by showing kindness to others.

For God, then becoming trustworthy has nothing to do with being reliable in material or financial matters.

It has nothing to do with being responsible and creative with one’s talents, gifts and skills.

It has nothing to do with loyalty and fidelity to a promise or commitment.

To become trustworthy is to be able to embrace our neighbor and to treat them with goodness, patience, generosity and respect.

Trustworthy is the one who knows how to care, even to the point of sacrifice to his own self.

Many times we lose God’s trust because of our self-centeredness. We live for ourselves alone, or we live only for the small number of people we call family or close friends.

Can we stretch our hearts a little bit more and start paying attention to others who need our love and support?

… that neighbor we never greet

… the co-worker we do not befriend

… the family member we stopped talking to

… the former friend we try so hard to forget

… the little people we meet each day whose names, and whose stories, we don’t care to know

Love covers a multitude of sins – says St Paul. When we learn to love, God trusts us again, because then, we become like Jesus, who was always like the Father.

Lord, may I be worthy of your trust!