Prayer: O Jesus, wake me up to the imminence of the Kingdom.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus with His disciples)
The parable uses real-life details. Rich owners often lived at a distance and depended on stewards who held promissory oaths of debtors. The steward wants his changes put into the original handwriting of the debtors (so the deception goes undetected).
The master’s surprising praise of his unjust steward has puzzled many. Jesus uses the parable to shock us into action in the crisis of our own imminent judgment. The unjust steward was caught up this personal crisis. He sized up the situation quickly, came up with a solution and acted decisively. We, too, should be shocked into decisive action concerning our personal salvation.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
A rich man had a steward who had wasted his goods. He said to him, “What is this I hear of you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can be steward no longer.”
The steward thought to himself, “What shall I do, because my master will take away my stewardship. To dig, I am not able. To beg, I am ashamed. I know what I will do so that after I am removed from my stewardship, they might receive me into their houses.” He called in his master’s debtors. To the first he asked, “How much do you owe my master? He said, “A hundred barrels of oil”. The steward said, “Take your bill and quickly write fifty”. He said to another, “How much do you owe?” He replied, “A hundred bushels of wheat”. The steward said, “Take your bill and write eighty.” The Lord commended the unjust steward for he had acted wisely. For the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.”
Thoughts (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- The crux of the parable is that disaster is imminent. The Master will fire the steward.
- The steward knows he must act while he still has access to his master’s debtors.
- He acts quickly and effectively. He ingratiates himself with those who have money.
- By commending this action, Jesus says to the crowd, “You, also, are in imminent trouble. The judgment is at the door. Imitate the man’s quickness and cleverness.”
- The parable has a shock value. By the surprise ending, Jesus accuses the crowds of their failure to realize that the judgment is imminent.
Affections (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Let me not delay, O Lord. Losing my soul is an eternal disaster.
- Let me not say, “Tomorrow, tomorrow and tomorrow.” (St. Augustine)
- Jesus, the obligations are serous. The decisions are weighty.
- Let me move quickly. Let me take the steps. The Kingdom is mine if I act. You will receive me into an eternal dwelling.
- Lord, if you need to shock me, you have my permission. Awaken me from my lethargy.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will examine my life to see my situation clearly and to do what is needed.
- I will act quickly and not delay.
Thought for the Day (To recall your meditation)
Jesus commended the steward for acting wisely.