Thirty First Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Lk 16: 1-8
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.”
STEWARDS OF GOD’S RICHES: In the first reading St. Paul says that all that he boasts about is what is in relationship with God. In the Gospel, Jesus uses the case of the wily manager to re-stimulate in us our vocation as stewards of God’s riches. Looking at the way the shrewd caretaker succeeds to regain the trust of his master. In dealing with his fellow brethren, man uses all skills possible to win their trust. It is part of our human nature to look good that many will sacrifice everything to safeguard their honor. However, in one’s relationship with God, a greater love for God and neighbour must be the aim to achieve. Our indifference in growing spiritually often constitutes the main reason of our lack of conversion. Our coldness and negligence for spiritual matters should rather question our loyalty towards God.
PRAYER: Lord, revive my zeal for the heavenly treasures.
GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES: You pick a lesson or two even from a wrongdoer. Once in a railway station people were waiting for a train hours behind the schedule. On a lonely bench sat a man making gestures, as if throwing away something, laughing wildly and occasionally shaking his head. It went on for some time. Someone asked, what happened? He replied, “I am telling jokes to myself to pass the time? It’s the late train!” A Christian is motivated to action, he is not to sit timid and downcast, he is asked to be eager and ingenious in his efforts to attain goodness. He must improvise on his possessions, his gifts. The picture the Lord is trying to draw is not a pathetic, lifeless smile-less Christian. But a mover and motivator, who can take the bull by its horns? If only we could seize the situations several times in the past waves of joy would have been our lot.
THE VIRTUE OF PRUDENCE: Prudence is good judgement and wisdom in looking ahead. In the gospel of today, Jesus tells us that the master of the dishonest servant praised him for being prudent even if he was dishonest. Of course, Jesus does not praise dishonesty in order to highlight prudence. He calls those with such contradictions, “children of this world”. Whereas, “children of light” need to be prudent without sacrificing honesty. Prudence for the children of the light would be to prioritize the Kingdom of God in their lives. Even to use relationships and things of this world to gather treasures in heaven. “Prudence is always in season.” -Moliere.