Friday of the 31st Week of the Year

Luke 16:1-8

The Parable of the Dishonest Steward

Carveth Mitchell told this story about a man who bought a parrot. He taught the bird to say one word and the word was, “Today.” When he got up in the morning and when he came home at night the bird always reminds him: “Today.” There was no procrastination around that bird. “Today, today, today,” it screamed.

About six months later the man bought another parrot. He taught that bird to say one word and the word was “Tomorrow.” He said, “I have been living as if there were no future. Today is all there is, and I have found it is not so.” The two birds together helped him keep his mind on the realities of life: today and tomorrow.

Maybe the steward, in today’s gospel, could have heard both voices of the two parrots. Tomorrow is God’s judgment of today.

Our gospel reading for today is all being smart and clever. The dishonest but shrewd manager, sensing that he is in danger of losing his job today, finally hits on the right strategy and begins turning the table in his favor for tomorrow’s sake. The original meaning of “shrewdness” is “foresight.”  A shrewd person grasps a critical situation with resolution and foresight.  Somebody said that Jesus is concerned with spiritual crisis which is more critical than financial crisis.  We can avert this crisis  through the exercise of faith and foresight.  If Christians would only expend as much foresight and energy to spiritual matters which have eternal consequences as much as they do to earthly matters which have temporal consequences, then they would be truly better off, both in this life and in the age to come. And so this is now our mission:

First, as children of light! Who are the children of light? They are those who follow Jesus Christ, who is the Light. And how is Christ present in the world today? He is in the world inasmuch as we carry him as children of light who after finishing our prayer, meditation and time with Christ, we should shine as light for the world. If we are what we should be we will set the whole world ablaze! If we pray as we should pray, we will light up the world.

Second, let us be smart and clever. Prudently we need to be smart and clever. We need to evaluate how we can most effectively bring souls to Christ and re-evangelize and re-Christianize Christians and their culture. But, of course, this is not an easy task and it implies a risk. Fr Marcial Maciel in his book, Is My Life (p. 263), writes: “Preaching the Gospel has always entailed a grave risk. Today is no exception. To be an apostle means endangering your reputation and status, and even your life; it means leaving your comfort zone and not fearing to be labelled as crazy or a dreamer. This doesn’t unsettle the true apostle. He knows he is running a risk, but he is sure of what he is reaping. As St Paul said, ‘I know who it is that I have put my trust in’ (2Tim 1:12). An apostle’s worry is to be faithful to Christ, faithful to his command to announce the Gospel.”

Third, let us possess the ideal. In order to accomplish this we need to first possess the ideal of Jesus Christ. Our hearts must be full of Him because no one gives what he does not have. The ideal involves the insight of our intelligence and the energy of our will. Christ is our ideal. Christ is our light. Possessing Christ will in turn bring us to deal astutely with our present generation and bring it to Christ’s light.

What do our hearts most treasure?

See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

OPTION  01,   02,   03,

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