Sunday, September 22
Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 16: 1 – 13
Jesus said to his disciples,
“A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one.
To the first he said,
‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’
He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note.
Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’
He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’
The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note;
write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
“For the children of this world
are more prudent in dealing with their own generation
than are the children of light.
I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth,
so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
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.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?
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 both God and mammon.”
This weekend, St Brigid celebrates ministry weekend. It has become our parish’s signature annual event to give us a chance to celebrate our short, but deeply blessed history. It is a chance to inform the parish of the many ways each can offer our gifts of time, talent, and treasure to the parish. The weekend looks forward to the future with Pope Francis’ message of profound hope.
Our Gospel today is about stewardship. A steward is a person who is responsible for the goods and property of their employer. The steward mentioned today was a bad steward because he was wasteful of his employer’s property. Since he knew he was going to be fired, he manipulated the situation to secure a future with those he owed. Oddly, the master praises the dishonest steward, not for his bad management, but for his awareness of the situation. Jesus tells this story not to encourage dishonesty but to focus on the steward’s foresight and actions.
We need to be constantly reminded that we are only the stewards of what we possess. Everything we own will someday be owned by someone else or in the dumpster. It is how we use our possessions for the good of others in which we are measured. As we heard from Monsignor in a homily just a few weeks ago, “A shroud has no pockets.” Regardless of how much or how little we may have, we are asked to consider how we share our surplus with others. Whether a little or a lot, whether in small things or large, we can make a difference. It is a challenging Gospel but does clue us in how we might better serve our families, our friends, our shared faith, and by doing so, we help serve the world around us.
-Deacon Don Poirier