Gospel: Luke 16:1-8
At another time Jesus told his disciples, “There was a rich man, whose steward was reported to him because of fraudulent service. He summoned the steward and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? I want you to render an account of your service, for it is about to be terminated.’
The steward thought to himself, ‘What am I to do now? My master will surely dismiss me. I am not strong enough to do hard work, and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I will do: I must make sure that when I am dismissed, there will be people who will welcome me into their homes.’
So he called his master’s debtors, one by one. He asked the first debtor, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ The reply was, ‘A hundred jars of oil.’ The steward said, ‘Here is your bill. Sit down quickly and write fifty.’ To the second debtor he put the same question, ‘How much do you owe?’ The answer was, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ Then the steward said, ‘Take your bill and write eighty.’
The master commended the dishonest steward for his astuteness: for the people of this world are more astute, in dealing with their own kind, than are the people of light.
“the people of this world are more astute, in Dealing with their own kind, than are the people of light.”
It must be second - nature in man to be clever. And man knows that this ability can come in handy and help a lot in difficult times. The master commended the steward in the gospel. This was not, for sure, an approval of the fraudulent nature of his dealings with others. He was praised for being clever. He was practical and he used his head to make friends to give himself the assurance that when he finds himself in tight situations or in dire need later, there are people he can turn to. Jesus used this illustration to bring home an important point. If we have the ability to establish ties, friendships, and networks among our fellow human beings for the sake of security and other benefits, why don’t we do it to God? If we are after what our friendship with others can give, why don’t we also run after what our friendship with God can offer? If we think that material benefits are good, we should also know that spiritual benefits are even better. I would like to presume that the Lord had this thought at the back of his mind: if we work hard to be friends with God, then we are truly clever.
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