September 22, 2019: Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Reading: 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.’ I He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’ Then to another steward he 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.”
Children of light or children of darkness? Jesus’ story about the unjust manager reminds me of many stories we hear on TV these days of people who can use financial manipulation to keep making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Jesus is impressed with them. They figure out every angle. They devote a lot of time and energy to their schemes. The devotion to their goals is impressive. Jesus calls them the children of darkness.
The question is: what about us, the children of light? Do we devote as much time, energy, thought, commitment to figuring out how to be a better disciple of Jesus?
Do I say what I mean, and mean what I say? Are my promises to my family, to coworkers, and friends kept? Or do I easily have an excuse? Is my talk just chatter or do I think before I open my mouth? When I look back at the end of the day: did I actually pick up the phone and talk to my Congressperson about that issue I was concerned about; did I actually make a donation to the cause I say I believe in; do the people I live with know how much I love them from what I did for them today and said to them today? Did I begin my day with Jesus and end it reflecting, praying for strength for a better day tomorrow, and thanking for the blessings of the day?
Which of the above questions need attention in my life? Decide what attention you will give to it this week.