THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2020
BEING A DISHONEST STEWARD
Today’s gospel: Luke 16:1-13
Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. Truth is about
honesty. But in this parable, Jesus commends a dishonest steward.
Actually, he does not commend the dishonesty but the prudence.
“And the master commended that dishonest steward for
acting prudently.” (v.8a). It is like when I commend
the devil for his zeal in doing his diabolical work, being
much more zealous than God’s people in doing His divine
parable is about the use of worldly resources. If we are to
be built on Rock, then we need to put on Jesus’ mind
about money and material resources. There are three lessons.
First, make prudent use of your wealth. Unfortunately, “the
children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their
own generation than are the children of light.” They
are more worldly than heavenly. (v.8b). Consider:
People spend money on themselves and try to be prudent with
their money, buying things they value or investing in profitable
ventures, but do not spend enough money on the work of the
Kingdom, withholding from God their tithes.
People spread gossip with much enthusiasm, but do not spread
the word of God as much.
go up the ladder of success with determination, but do not
strive as hard to go up the scale of holiness.
Such people are building on sand and not on rock. “I
tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.”
(v.9). Money has the power to possess one’s heart and
mind, to corrupt one’s values, to lead one to do unsavory
activities. But money is needed and is useful for the work
of the Kingdom. It fails to fulfill God’s intent, if
not used for His purposes. This is ultimately the only investment
that yields true fruit, and that is eternal life.
Second, be faithful to the task entrusted to you. God gives
gifts to all for the use of the Kingdom. God might start you
off with a small gift, but if you prove trustworthy, He entrusts
more to you. “The person who is trustworthy in very
small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person
who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in
great ones.” (v.10). Consider:
If you are able to properly care for your own nuclear family,
then God can use you to take care of the larger community
of God’s people.
you share Christ with your inner circles, God can use you
to share Christ with ever expanding circles of society and
the world around you.
You start out as a Household Servant in CFC-FFL, but God
wants to give you greater responsibilities, and you move
on to be Unit Servant, then Chapter Servant, and so on.
Not all of us will immediately be working in the Kingdom of
God, but all of us, by natural processes, find ourselves in
the world. We work, we raise a family, we interact with others.
God looks at how we handle ourselves in the secular realm.
If we are faithful, He chooses us and calls us to do His work.
This however is not just for the so-called good people, but
even for great sinners. Such was Saul. He was zealous in doing
what he believed in, even if such was totally contrary to
Christ. But Jesus chose and called him. Thus the principle:
“If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest
wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?” (v.11).
people are building on the foundation that is Christ. To build
is to put one stone after another, until the whole edifice
Third, serve God and not mammon. God and mammon are demanding
and jealous taskmasters, desiring to totally possess us. We
need to make our choice. “No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted
to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
(v.13). The one who loves and serves mammon is building on
sand, while the one who loves and serves God is building on
in fact has said that those who do not renounce all his possessions
cannot be his disciple. Does that mean we have nothing at
all to do with money? Not at all. We need money to eat, feed
our family, and do our mission. What it means is that we are
prudent in handling dishonest wealth. Consider:
as a petty clerk we steal from our company, can we be trusted
to not steal when entrusted with bigger amounts contributed
for God’s work in the church? Judas was a thief, and
when he became an apostle, was still a thief.
If we choose to regularly miss Sunday Mass in order to do
overtime work to earn more money, is it the prudent use
of our time?
we use our talents to advance our careers and be caught
up even more in secular undertakings, to the point where
we decline opportunities to serve God, do we have our priorities
So God first, and money becomes incidental. If we have this
posture, then God can truly use us to serve Him. “If
you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who
will give you what is yours?” (v.12). What is yours,
or what is desired for you by God, is eternal life. The only
way to achieve it is to be trustworthy with the things of
God and build on the Rock that is Christ.