Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.
I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.
If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?
If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?
No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
Commentary of the day :
Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church
Commentary on Saint Luke’s Gospel, 7, 244s ; SC 52
« You have only one Master…, the Christ » (Mt 23,8)
“A servant cannot serve two masters.” Not that there are two; there is only one Master. For even if there are some people who serve money, it has no inherent right to be a master; they themselves are the ones who assume the yoke of this slavery. In fact, money has no rightful authority but constitutes an unjust bondage. That is why Jesus says: “Make friends for yourselves with deceitful money” so that by generosity to the poor we will win the favor of angels and saints.
The steward is not blamed. By this we learn that we are not masters but rather stewards of other people’s wealth. He was praised even though he was in the wrong because, in paying out to others in his master’s name he won support for himself. And how rightly Jesus spoke of “deceitful wealth” because love of money so tempts our desires with its various seductions that we consent to become its slaves. That is why he said: “If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours?” Riches are alien to us because they exist outside of our nature; they are not born with us, they don’t follow us in death. But Christ, to the contrary, belongs to us because he is life… So don’t let us become slaves of exterior goods because Christ is the only one we should acknowledge as our Lord.
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