Daily Scriptures Reflection for 11/4/11

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Scripture: Lectionary 489: Romans 15:14-21. Psalm 98:1.2-3.3-4. Luke
16:1-8

Friday’s Readings

Parables are the way Jesus shocks us into listening to what he is trying to
teach us as his disciples.  This has been going on since the Journey
Narrative in Luke began and will continue till he reaches Jerusalem.  We
are all being taught what it means to be a disciple and how much it will
cost us!

Do we take initiative in learning from the parable for today to show
generosity and attentiveness to those with whom we live?  Do we anticipate
their needs and relate to them as friends or fellow brothers and sisters?
Are we aware of the students who need the most care and attention from us
or are we more interested in our own teaching than in their learning?  Are
we positive in our approach to life especially when relating to those who
are younger than we are?  Do we offer encouragement? At the end of the day
have we brought Good News to those we encountered and met this day or was
it a bad news day for them?

Jesus puts it to us to imitate the crafty and devious servant in the
parable who knew how to solve his personal situation with regard to his
keeping the accounts of the lord of the property involved in this parable.
We can learn from the secular manager how to take the initiative and be
creative in doing the right thing just as he knew how to save his neck in
doing the wrong and devious thing with the master’s accounts. Yet, the
landlord praised him for his ingenuity. That is where the parable breaks
down and we are swooped into looking at ourselves as responsible for the
commandments of love toward all others especially those of our own
household.

We are often blind to a correct way of reading the signs of the times and
learning how to take from our culture things that are good while acting
counter-culture in those that are bad.  The servant or manager is receiving
a” left-handed” compliment from the master.  This is the way Jesus
sometimes teaches through his colorful parables that catch us off guard.
The parable is meant for his disciples who are to make sure we keep correct
accounting with as much alacrity as the manager who did not deal justly
with his lord. As disciples we are called to welcome others and to do
something concretely for them not just offer fancy promises and lofty words
that leave them hanging without really helping them.

As disciples of Jesus we must act quickly and correctly in the crises that
prevent us from bringing the Good News to others.  The kingdom of God needs
to be proclaimed by us with as much cleverness and inventiveness as the
devious manager did with the master’s accounts.  We can learn much from the
secular world around us without being pulled into its selfish and
individualistic interests.  Amen.

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