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(Part 66)


November 8, 2013
Today’s gospel: Luke 16:1-8

Today we have a very challenging parable of the dishonest steward. But I will not tackle that. Rather, I want to use this parable as take-off for the proper posture we need to have as we move forward in Christ.

Let me get right to it. We are the dishonest steward.

One, we have been made stewards of the earth from the time of creation, and of our possessions that actually belong to God, and of the work of evangelization which is the great privilege given us to participate in the divine work of salvation. Most Christians, including us, have failed in all three aspects. We live our lives such that we participate in the pollution of the earth, we fail to tithe and use our possessions for the cause of Christ, and we have not gone all-out in participating in bringing in the harvest already prepared by God.

Since God is depending on us His people to take care of His work, if we persist in not doing so, then God might come to the point where He will say to us, “you can no longer be my steward.” (Lk 16:2d). How terrible would that be? So before God actually gets to that point, we must say to ourselves, “What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?” (Lk 16:3a).

So what shall we do? We should do what the dishonest steward did. He called his master’s debtors and changed the amount they owed to what was truly owed to the master, minus the onerous commission or overprice the steward has added on (Lk 16:5-7). What does that mean for us? This tells us basically three things.

First, live the truth. This is no matter how it might hurt your personally. Second, look not to your own good but to the good of the Master.[1] The steward removed what was his gain and looked to just what belonged to his master. Third, do justice to all. The steward, by removing his onerous add-on, then billed the debtors what they actually owed the master, no more, no less.

Truth, self-emptying, justice. These are what are important to those whom the Master will call and use. These are those qualities by which our Lord can entrust to us his work. We must know the truth that salvation is desired by God for all, but that God depends on His people to proclaim that salvation. Then, knowing that, we need to consider how we can serve Jesus as his disciples, and that can only happen with self-emptying and total commitment to the Master. Finally, as the Spirit is able to form us, we do justice to all, helping give them what is their due, and that is the salvation won on the cross by Jesus for them.

If we do these, even as we have been dishonest stewards, then our Master will commend us. “And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.” (Lk 16:8). In addition, because we would take care of the earth, use our possessions to do God’s work, and bring people to Christ due to our work of evangelization, then we will be appreciate by many, and “they may welcome (us) into their homes.” (Lk 16:4c).

* * *

[1] Though the steward basically was still looking out for his own good.

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