Be a Good Steward

09-18-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Aruldoss

Dear People of God,

Praised be Jesus Christ! On this 25th Sunday, the readings call us to reflect on our attitude towards money, material things and our relationship with the poor and marginalized. If there is anything that has perpetuated poverty all over the world, it is injustice and inequality in the social class. Hence, Amos in today’s first reading decries the injustices meted out against the poor of the land.

The Gospel of today gives us the story of a steward who was cheating. When his master fires him from his job, he gets together with others who are also willing to cheat his master and they all take advantage of the master. Then the steward is able to go and work with these other cheaters. It sounds puzzling to contemporary readers, but it can be made less so by considering the economic system which stands behind the parable.

A steward is dismissed because he is squandering his master's property. He is called dishonest because he is not serving the interests of the rich man, his employer. In response the steward, in an attempt to ensure favor for himself among the rich man's debtors, brokers repayment of the rich man's loans by foregoing the interest and fees that had been levied to line the steward's pockets. It is this action, in which the steward puts aside his greed and takes the longer perspective in order to enhance his security, which is commended by the rich man.

The passage concludes with three morals for the listeners. The first exhorts the listener to be prudent about the use of wealth. Like the steward in the parable, those who would follow Jesus must put transitory affairs in proper perspective. Christians should handle the affairs of temporal life with an eye toward eternal life. Helping the poor is very much needed in this regard.

The second concerns trustworthiness. Those who can be trusted in small things can also be trusted in great things. If Christians handle money and other passing things responsibly, then they can also be trusted with the affairs of the Kingdom of God.

Finally, Jesus tells his listeners that no one can serve two masters simultaneously. God must be put ahead of money. Have a Happy and Blessed Sunday!