Today’s Gospel: Luke 16:1-8 – St. Leo the Great
The parable of the dishonest steward is a baffling one. The steward cheats his master so badly he’s getting fired, and then he decides to go to his masters’ debtors and cut their debts in half, so the debtors will like him better. Why is that a good thing?
It turns out, the steward was taking a hefty commission on all the debts he managed, a legal practice then. Although he was getting fired for a legitimate wrongdoing, with the debtors, he wasn’t cheating his master. He was simply removing his own commission. His master commends him because the steward sacrificed his own immediate income in order to encourage good relations with those people in the future.
Jesus goes on to ask, if we will so easily use our goods to curry favor with people on this earth, should we not make even greater sacrifices in anticipation of a heavenly reward? While it is true that God loves us, we should not take that love for granted. In Luke 14, Jesus makes it clear that we should want to give up everything of this earth, even our lives, for Him. Yet, too often we hesitate. We hold onto our money, keep our mouths shut instead of standing up against wrongdoing, and protect our mortal lives and relationships rather than grabbing our cross and rushing to the Divine.
In this parable, the steward hopes his sacrifice will curry favor with those who are disposed to hate him. How much more will our acts of charity please a God who already loves us?
This story isn’t about clever and dishonest dealings after all. It’s to remind us that sacrifices done for Him are not sacrifices, but clever and commendable investments.
Is there an area of your life where you cling to the wealth of this world, whether it’s money, prestige or relationships, at the expense of God’s favor?
Dear Lord, when I am tempted to take Your love for granted and to hold too close to the things of this world, let me remember that the greatest thing I can do in this life is give everything to You.
Copyright 2017 Karina Fabian
Karina Fabian is a cradle Catholic, mother of four, and founder of the Catholic Writers Guild. She writes award-winning science fiction and fantasy. Her latest novel, Discovery, features religious sisters who are part of a mission to explore and alien ship. fabianspace.com
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