The Gospel today from Luke is addressed to Jesus’ disciples and he tells them a parable about a dishonest steward who is commended for being shrewd in the management of his masters’ affairs. Although it is rather complicated in its details, it conveys a very clear message.
The manager of the rich man’s estate shows initiative when faced with a crisis, he is going to lose his job. He is very resourceful as he comes up with a plan which he will benefit later from. He responded to the crisis and was rewarded by the rich man. We too as Christians are asked to respond to the teachings of Jesus. We should ask ourselves what do I do in my daily life to actively respond to the good news? We need to make use of all that God has given us, so that we can bear witness and tell others about the good news.
The parable tells the story of a steward who is dismissed because he is mismanaging his employers’ estate. He is called dishonest as he is not managing the affairs of his master properly. In response to the crisis of losing his job he calls all the debtors and attempts to secure his future by significantly reducing the money each debtor owed the rich man. Hoping that when he loses his job one of the debtors will help him. What is interesting about the steward is that until the moment he is going to lose his job he is wasteful and incompetent but when faced with unemployment, he comes up with a clever plan to make sure that he will be provided for. It is this action, the putting aside his greed and looking at the long-term perspective to secure his future, which is commended by the rich man.
What does this parable mean for us today? We as Christians are to put our earthly treasures in perspective, our daily actions have a bearing on our eternal life. Jesus knows that we will often be tested about being honest in our every day lives. If someone in a shop gave you too much change, what would you do? Being honest is a choice we make every day. Those who can be trusted in small things can also be trusted in great things. Jesus invites us to consider our priorities in a new light. How we use our money has implications for us as Christians and for members of our family. Finally, Jesus tells the disciples; “No servant can be the slave of two masters; he will either hate the first and love the second or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.” God must be put ahead of money.