25th Sunday in Ordinary Time C
This Sunday’s Gospel flows straight on from last week’s – the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. It is good to remember and bear in mind that Jesus’ ‘target’ audience at the beginning of those 3 stories were the Scribes and Pharisees.
We are reminded in so many of Jesus’ stories that our concern is for the poor and those in need. Who are those in our lives? Here we have what may seem a strange story where Jesus seems to be advocating being unjust – one translation calls this passage ‘the steward whom the Lord praised’. What is Jesus really praising or what is the point He is trying to encourage us to look out for in our own lives? It may have to do with our own use of money - are we caught up in consumerism? Where or how do we spend our money?
Perhaps we can look at the two lives – the master and the steward. Why only now is the master questioning him and why is he not given the right to reply? It seems as if money may be of extreme importance to him (and I suppose he must be fairly well off to have steward in the first place!) The steward meanwhile has his thinking cap on and off he goes to his ‘customers’. He ‘buys’ their support by reducing their debt. It makes no difference to him if his master receives less than he is owed. The steward may have been careless, complacent or lazy with regard to his master’s goods.
What I find interesting is that the steward knows himself very well – he knows what he can and can’t do. In the end he didn’t prosper by his actions – the debtors did. Maybe revenge on his master was reward enough for him!
What does all that – and the sayings that follow – teach us? I’m not sure. I can only say how I see it. It strikes me that it can be seen as a wake-up call. What is important in our lives at the moment? Where do we put our priorities? Where do we put our energy? Do we work just for the money or power or prestige which comes with our job? Are we wasteful with our resources, our talents and gifts? Do we care enough about those around us, about our environment, about our world?
All we have is gift and it is up to each one of us to use those gifts wisely. We need to share them with others, especially those who are not as fortunate as we are. Our readings this week are reminders of our social responsibility so let us spend some time reflecting on how we can best serve others using our resources, our gifts and our time.
Sr. Margaret Mattison