The Parable of the Dishonest Steward
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - September 22, 2019 - 12:00am

It is now the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time and today’s gospel is a bit confusing in the sense that our Lord Jesus Christ presents to us the issue of a dishonest steward. In today’s times, we would no longer hire such a person, but somehow the Lord gives us a lesson on how we can profit from the dishonesty of this steward in another parable about how a dishonest man was able to do things that was acceptable to the Lord. You can read today’s gospel in Luke 16:1-13.

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16 He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3 And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.

4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5 So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures[a] of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures[b] of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, [d] so that  when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.,10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.

11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be de-voted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

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While our Lord commended the dishonest steward for his shrewdness, it doesn’t mean to say that our Lord is allowing this to happen to each and everyone of us. However, he did notice that because the dishonest steward felt that his future was very bleak, he then made friends with the people who owed his master and giving them a huge reduction in their debt. This way, when he is no longer working for the master, at least those people whom he helped would certainly support him when he needs their help.

The Lord has a lesson for us to learn when he said, “No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” This is a real lesson for all of us to learn. Perhaps our problem is the way we earn our money and more importantly how we spend this money? I’m sure that we have many friends, who recently got rich. They are called “Nouveau riche”. That means they just earned their money recently and hopefully they are not involved in illegal drugs.

Another person you may know is already rich because of his rich family, but a man must be very careful when spending this not-so-hard-earned money. Should he spend his money on wine, women and so or should he be prudent in his spending habits? What if some kind of disaster would end los-ing your family fortune? Our Lord points out to the shrewdness of the dishonest servant who at least knew how to handle himself when he made sure that he would have friends to help him when he needed them.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

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