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Archive for October 24th, 2019


Luke 16:1-8: Prudent Stewardship

Thursday, October 24, 2019

I stumble with this parable each time I hear it because I must remember the context of this story.  From the NAB footnotes: The parable . . . has to be understood in the light of the Palestinian custom of agents acting on behalf of their masters and the usurious practices common to such agents.  The dishonesty of the steward consisted in the squandering of his master’s property and not in any subsequent graft.  The master commends the steward who has forgone his own usurious commission . . . by having the debtors write new notes that reflected the real amount owed the master . . . The . . . steward acts in this way in order to ingratiate himself with the debtors because he knows he will be dismissed from the position . . . The parable, then, teaches the prudent use of one’s material goods in light of the imminent crisis. 

I am reflecting on if and how I have been a good steward of all I have been given.  Have I used my brains well?  Have I abused my physical, psychological or spiritual self in any way?  Do I struggle away from addiction rather than fall into it?  Have I done well with the fiscal gifts I have been given by God?  Have I shared my spiritual journey with others in a manner reflecting good stewardship?  Do I run my own tank too close to empty and then become upset or angry when tired?  Am I afraid to be countercultural?  Do I encourage myself and others to rise to the high bar set by the Gospel Values Jesus brings us through his Story?  Do I care for the poor, the marginalized, those without resources?  Do I conserve the gifts of nature?  Do I encourage others to do so as well?  Do I practice a good work ethic and do I advocate for myself and others in the work place?  Do I open my heart and my home to those needing physical and spiritual shelter?

This is a great deal to ponder and can be overwhelming.  So I take it in chunks so as not to discourage myself and further ill spend what I have been given.  For in the end, we all yearn to be good and faithful stewards.  Taking stock from time to time is a good thing.  Amending breaks where we can is commendable.  Turning away from an easy life of living from others’ work is the call we here today.  Owning up to our own deficits, making changes as we can, these are the mark of one who strives to live a life of prudent stewardship.

We might all ask ourselves these two questions . . . Am I living off of the fruits of someone else’s fiscal, emotional, psychological or spiritual work?  . . . Or do I stretch and strive and reach for the best self that God intended at my creation?

We can only know this if we take stock . . . make amends . . . and grow in God’s grace to be God’s hope to the world.


Written on October 8, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://saintraymond.net/stewardship/

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