MASS, GOSPEL AND COMMENTARY. THE PARABLE OF THE DISHONEST MANAGER (Lk 16:1–8).
PARABLES OF THE UNJUST STEWARD OR DISHONEST MANAGER
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 measures 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 the children of light.”
First, He reminds us of the importance to live the virtues of honesty and diligence in our daily work.
- Secondly, the fact that the master “praised” his servant’s shrewd and immoral behavior and effort of reducing the financial obligations of his master’s debtors because he wishes to have “friends” who would help him during his hard times, is not an approval of the servant’s immoral behavior itself. Rather, his master praised his steward’s zeal and determination to provide for his future security.
- It is thus an encouragement for us to put the same zeal, ingenuity and effort in our worldly affairs into the affairs of our soul, our relationship with God, our holiness and our salvation and that of others as well.
- We need to employ all legitimate resources with heroic effort and sacrifice, counting on God’s grace, when it comes to matters of saving our soul and spreading the Kingdom of God.
- Usain Bolt won the gold medal in the 100-meter race by just 0:08 seconds. Severe infection and possible death will ensue if a pneumonia, caused by a very small bacterium, is not treated with the proper antibiotics. Water leakages if not remedied would eventually lead to a high water usage bill, if not a flooded bathroom or house! A small deviation in the angle of ship’s or plane’s trajectory, if not corrected, will bring it to a destination different from that intended….and so on.
- In the same manner, virtues, holiness, salvation consist in the small details of our daily life carried out for love of God and others.
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