In the Gospel (Luke 16:1-13, or 16:10-13), we read of the steward, an ‘employee’, who lost his job because he squandered the goods and talents entrusted to him by his master. Before news of his dismissal becomes public, he strikes a deal with his master’s debtor, to win favour from them. At first glance, Our Lord seems to praise the steward for his dishonesty, but on closer observation, we find that the steward is actually being commended for his shrewdness. He grasps his critical situation and acts with foresight, with vision.
The parable emphasises a single point; that we must make proper use of our worldly goods while we still have time to do it. Our Lord says (verse 9); “…use money, tainted as it is, to win friends, and thus makes sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you in the tents of eternity”. In simple language it would be something like; ‘….use wisely, the wealth entrusted to you, and secure your salvation in the eternal Kingdom of God’. Our Lord’s concern is that we spend as much foresight and energy on spiritual matters, to secure a place in heaven – even in our use of earthly things.
He ends his parable so eloquently with the words: “No servant can be the slave of two masters……You cannot be the slave both of God and money”.
God bless Fr Michael