You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9
you are rich in love for your people:
show us the treasure that endures
and, when we are tempted by greed,
call us back into your service
and make us worthy to be entrusted with the
wealth that never fails.
We ask this through your Son, our Lord Jesus
Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
- Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
- Ps 14
- 1 Tim 1
- Luke 15:1-10
- Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15
- Ps 91:1-6, 14-16
- 1 Tim 6:6-19
- Luke 16:19-31
A Thought to Ponder
The parable of the shrewd manager: “The children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light . . . “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.”
The parable of the shrewd business manager is one of the most difficult parables of Jesus to grasp. At first reading, it appears that Jesus is condoning extortion and larceny. But Jesus admires not the manager’s lack of scruples but his decisiveness and ingenuity in taking control of his situation. We admire those who use their intelligence, charm and pluck to get ahead in this world. Jesus’ parable challenges us to be as eager and as ingenious for the sake of God’s reign, to be as ready and willing to use our time and money to accomplish great things in terms of the Gospel as we are to secure our own security and enjoyment. Jesus appeals to the “children of light” to be as enterprising and resourceful in pursuit of reign of God as this steward is in making a place of himself in this world. We must restore money as the means to an end and not as the end itself; we are only stewards of our Master’s property.
Like the shrewd manager and his demanding master, we can become so obsessed with the pursuit of wealth and the manipulation of power that we seem to give up a piece of our humanity in the process. Christ calls us to something far greater: to use that same dedication of energy, ability and efficiency to make the reign of God a reality in our own time and place.
Sometimes we let the things we possess possess us, demanding our time and attention at the expense of the people we love. The danger of owning things is forgetting that the value is not in the thing itself but in that thing’s enabling us to save time and make our life easier so that we can concentrate on the more important values that the gift of life offers us.
Christ warns his hearers not to trust in wealth for its own sake but to use wealth — whatever form our “wealth” takes — to establish the Father’s kingdom of compassion, reconciliation and justice in our midst.
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