25TH SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
Our gospel story for this Sunday tells us about the rich Man and his dishonest steward. The steward who looked after his master’s estates is accused of wasting his employer’s goods; he is dismissed, but before he goes he must submit the final account of his stewardship. In this time of crisis the steward takes firm and immediate action to ensure his own future. He is praised not for his dishonesty, but for his resourcefulness in coping with an emergency with such speed. If a dishonest man can use his employer’s money to ensure there will be people to welcome him when he’s out of a job, how much more should honest people use their money in such a way that they will be welcomed into the kingdom of God when they arrive there. This parable invites us to examine our use of material possessions. One of the central themes in Luke’s gospel is the suspicion Jesus conveys towards worldly wealth.
Material things can divert our attention and in some cases they can take the place of what truly matters in life. These particular words of Jesus are a warning to those who follow him on the road to heaven, the warning is that we shouldn’t be the slaves of earthly things and this is applicable to all of us. Most of us may feel that this warning is for millionaires and business magnates. Our Lord didn’t say who he was warning and his words at all times are meant for all of us. What Jesus warned against was not the just acquisition of this world’s goods but their unjust acquisition, and the dishonest use of them when they were justly acquired. There are wealthy people in Luke’s gospel who seem to follow the thrust of the parable and make wise use of their time, their talents and their wealth. They use their possessions to serve Jesus as sons and daughters of God.
Stirred by teachings like today’s gospel story they decided to act quickly and decisively when occasions arise to help others and journey with them in their time of need. This gospel story gives us an example of someone who knew what he had to do in a crisis situation and Jesus asks all of us to remember no matter what situations we might find ourselves in that we shouldn’t become slaves to the processions or wealth that we might have and that we shouldn’t be afraid to use whatever our resources are for the good of everyone especially those in need.