NOVEMBER 5. Ord Time B. Wk 31. Fri. Lk 16. 1-8
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘There was a rich man and he had a steward denounced to him for being wasteful with his property. He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.” Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed. Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”
Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?” “One hundred measures of oil” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down straight away and write fifty.” To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty.”
‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.’
The message here is to illustrate how clever and devious men are in order to protect their earthly interests and; - by implication; - to make the point how little concern they show for their eternal interests; - a matter dealt with well in the Imitation of Christ.
“Men are more ready to listen to the world than to God, readier to follow the cravings of the flesh that what God wants of them. The world promises men its petty prizes that are soon gone, and finds in them its eager and willing slaves. I promise them prizes whose glory lasts for ever, and the hearts of men are dull and unmoved?” (Book 3. Ch.4 No. 3)
If we put the same zeal into the care of our souls as we do to worldly issues it would result in a living and generous faith of eternal benefit; - for ourselves, for God, for the Church, and the salvation of souls, but it is rare today to put care of one’s soul before earthly cares?
And yet when we look at the steward’s motivation for his actions; - he was very concerned for what was to happen after his employment ended; - while the point of the parable is we should be showing this same concern for what happens when our life ends!
Truly there is a need for us to be asking why there is such a lack of concern for the end of earthly life; - why are we so focused on this life; - which will very soon come to an end; - while almost ignoring eternal life?
The only explanation is our Faith is weak! We believe in the importance of loving God and doing his will, and preparing for eternity; - but we give greater priority to the affairs of this world; - a situation hard to reconcile with a deep and strong faith?
In contrast, Jesus, and Mary, and the saints, placed little importance on the events of earth; - except to ensure everything that happened in their earthly lives was in accord with the wishes of the Father. The only difference between their lives and our own is their lives were marked by a deep faith!!
Gospel Acclamation 1Jn2:5
Whoever keeps the word of Christ
grows perfect in the love of God.
First reading Romans 15:14-21
My duty is to bring the Good News from God to the pagans
My brothers, I am quite certain that you are full of good intentions, perfectly well instructed and able to advise each other. The reason why I have written to you, and put some things rather strongly, is to refresh your memories, since God has given me this special position. He has appointed me as a priest of Jesus Christ, and I am to carry out my priestly duty by bringing the Good News from God to the pagans, and so make them acceptable as an offering, made holy by the Holy Spirit.
I think I have some reason to be proud of what I, in union with Christ Jesus, have been able to do for God. What I am presuming to speak of, of course, is only what Christ himself has done to win the allegiance of the pagans, using what I have said and done by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus all the way along, from Jerusalem to Illyricum, I have preached Christ’s Good News to the utmost of my capacity. I have always, however, made it an unbroken rule never to preach where Christ’s name has already been heard. The reason for that was that I had no wish to build on other men’s foundations; on the contrary, my chief concern has been to fulfil the text: Those who have never been told about him will see him, and those who have never heard about him will understand.