Probably none of us will ever make it to the list of the world’s top billionaires. In other words, all of us are simply dealing with the smaller, simpler things of everyday life. Jesus informs us in the Gospel this weekend that the one who can be trusted with little things can also be trusted with the great and so, win a rich inheritance in the kingdom. However, because of our weak human nature, let’s face it, it is all too easy to be irresponsible with and indifferent to the familiar, everyday tasks we face each day.
As you recall, in last Sunday’s gospel we met a prodigal son; this week we meet a prodigal steward or business manager. Both squandered property. Whether the steward’s wastefulness was because of negligence, incompetence, or malice, we are not told. Where he is efficient, however, is in the speedy formulation of a plan that will ensure his future now that he has been denounced by his employer. He thinks quickly and shrewdly.
The master (boss) in the parable wryly praises his manager, not for his business ethics, (certainly not ethical) but for his flair and intelligence in a time of crisis. The “children of this world,” those like the manager who are driven by material values and are knowledge-able about the way to save their own unethical skins, show themselves resourceful in social dealings.
The whole point of the parable is that the “children of light,” that is, we who call ourselves disciples of Jesus, enlightened by him and his gospel proclamation, should be even more alert and enterprising, more ready to risk everything because we rely on the mercy and honor of their Master.
“What will I do?” is a question for each of us as a disciple and trusty steward of the rich property of God’s household, not only of the material resources that are to be shared with those in need, but especially of the mysteries of God. To some degree, we are all like the manager, a mix of the despicable and the commendable. The mundane and every day ordinary of this life is rich in opportunities for storing up treasure in heaven. It is up to us to use God’s grace and our own unique inquisitiveness to attain this goal! Have a great week – Fr. Jim