September 19, 2010
Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 16: 1-13
Jesus said to his disciples, "A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, 'What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.' The steward said to himself, 'What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.' He called in his master's debtors one by one. To the first he said, 'How much do you owe my master?' He replied, 'One hundred measures of olive oil.' He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.' Then to another he said, 'And you, how much do you owe?' He replied, 'One hundred kors of wheat.' He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.' And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are the author of life and the giver of all that is good. You are the Prince of Peace and my mainstay. You are my healer and the cure itself. I need you, and I need to give you. I love you and commit myself to you entirely, knowing you could never let me down or deceive me. Thank you for giving me your very self.
Petition: Lord my Savior, today help me to exert my heart’s effort for your cause.
1. Two Faces
To say one thing and to do the opposite must be the hardest moral strife for the human heart to bear. Those who live with two faces indeed live in a restless state. Their conscience dictates one way, but their deeds are displayed conspicuously to the contrary. They bear a responsibility that they are obliged to fulfill, yet they waste time in peripheral nonsense. Thus they let down those who might reap the benefits had they been faithful to that responsibility. This rips the ethical peace in the two-faced individual.
2. A Worthy Solution
Having two faces creates suspicion in human relationships. Nevertheless, our Lord finds a redeeming mechanism in place – a worthy outcome to the deeds of this insincere steward. The steward, on learning that his time is limited, craftily conjures up friendships with the debtors he was doing business with from the start. His master praises the tactic used by the fired steward. The master even studies the prudence and creativity of this current, untrustworthy enemy so as to teach the incoming stewards how to deal trustworthily with customers and vendors. Such dedication in crunch times could be very useful and quite glorious – especially when it is performed by reliable stewards. What good could be truly achieved!
On one hand, there seems to appear a great blessedness when the steward implements skills like kindness and prudence, deals intelligently, and does more in less time. Yet, on the other hand, he still undermines the wishes and desires of the master. How do I see this in my life? In my relationship with Christ and his Church, do I recognize the great blessedness in possessing a love for God and in putting my skills, talents and gifts to use solely for God’s glory and the establishment of his Kingdom? Does everything I do, ranging from conducting a family activity to receiving a phone call in the office or going to a party, have this unifying drive for God’s glory and the establishment of his Kingdom?
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Divine Master, for sharing with me briefly an important lesson in becoming a true follower of yours and becoming truly happy in the depths of my heart. Help me to raise my heart high, as I endeavor to praise you by my thoughts, words and deeds.
Resolution: Today, as I deal with someone, I will truly look for their benefit by helping them and being kind to them.
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