Join with others in being imitators of me, brothers and sisters,
and observe those who thus conduct themselves
according to the model you have in us.
For many, as I have often told you
and now tell you even in tears,
conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ.
Their end is destruction.
Their God is their stomach;
their glory is in their “shame.”
Their minds are occupied with earthly things.
But our citizenship is in heaven,
and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will change our lowly body
to conform with his glorified Body
by the power that enables him also
to bring all things into subjection to himself.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters,
whom I love and long for, my joy and crown,
in this way stand firm in the Lord, beloved.
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.”Luke 16:1-8
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus praises a steward who cheats his master. Now, what do we make of this? It seems so peculiar especially in Luke’s Gospel where Jesus has been teaching the radical message of detachment from worldly goods. But here he is giving his approval to a man who clings to wealth in an immoral way. Well, what gives?
Jesus wants us to see that this steward takes a hard look at his situation and decides to do something about it. Now, the Lord is not telling us to imitate his immorality. But what Jesus admires is his resolve. He knows his own weaknesses, he assesses himself honestly, and then he decides to act.
The Lord told the parable to urge us to carefully examine our spiritual condition. His desire is that we choose to renew our relationship with him. He wants us to take stock of our weaknesses and make a firm resolution to acquire necessary strengths to fix them.
If your prayer life is weak, act to give it new life. If you have not been worshiping fervently at Mass, decide to participate more fully. If you have a broken relationship, repair it. And so on. Decide now, then act.