Gospel – 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 the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’
The steward 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 both God and mammon.”
Reflection on Sunday Gospel

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God…

It is good to keep in mind when reading or hearing the words of Jesus that he was a semite in the  first quarter of the first millenium. The easterners were given to wide and emphatic statements. With this  in mind I find that when Jesus speaks of the Poor, or the Rich, it is an either/or situation. There is no middle ground. One solution to this dilemma is that when Jesus speaks a parable he leaves the conclusion up to the hearer.

In this parable of the “squandering” steward, we are presented with a very problematic situation. Jesus compliments the “scheming steward! The steward is looking out for himself, and making deals with his Master’s money. Jesus recommends that his followers imitate the initiative of the steward! What is the meaning? A scripture scholar writes; this parable is puzzling, and difficult to understand.

Maybe we have a very down-to-earth statement of Jesus. We could also have a statement in which Jesus expresses some frustration with his followers. The schemers of this world, he says, have plenty of imagination and determination in getting what they want. Is he saying: “I wish my followers would express the same brilliance and resolution in their decisions to accept the gifts which I am offering!”?

St. John Baptist de La Salle … Pray for Us!
Live Jesus in our Hearts … Forever!

Br. James Loxham, FSC