THE PERPLEXING PARABLE OF THE UNJUST STEWARD
(Thursday, November 16)
“…So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.” (Lk 16:8-9)
The Parable of the Unjust Steward (google the full text, Luke 16:1-9) is perplexing, because the steward is an unsavory character, who nonetheless ends up being praised for dealing “shrewdly” with his master’s money. How and why are we to imitate this steward, one of “the sons of this world”?
1.) We need to take seriously, as did he, the fact that our Master will hold us accountable for how we used the resources He entrusted to us, including “our” money, time, health and talents. And 2.) We need creatively to find ways to use these resources to benefit others; other “debtors” of our Master, rather than hoard or otherwise waste them for ourselves, or only for our Master’s “house.”
This “Christmas season,” when we might tend to buy things we don’t really need, let me take note of things I may have hoarded, like clothing I never wear or dishes and utensils I don’t use. Perhaps I can clean out a closet and take the stuff I don’t need to a local charity. If I don’t have extra things, perhaps I can be a bit more generous with my time, and make it a point daily to make a phone call to someone lonely. And let me be a bit kinder today, to “others” I encounter both offline and online, especially those with whom I disagree, because my words are also a resource I’ve received from my Master. Let me also be kinder to myself, caring for my physical and spiritual health, because these are also entrusted to me, (and “the sons of this world” also tend to be better at that). Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and enlighten us with Your wisdom and grace, O God, throughout this season!