Friday, September 16, 2016
Gospel text for Sunday 18 September 2016
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Luke 16:1-13 Jesus said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, `What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.' Then the manager said to himself, `What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.' So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he asked the first, `How much do you owe my master?' He answered, `A hundred jugs of olive oil.' He said to him, `Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.' Then he asked another, `And how much do you owe?' He replied, `A hundred containers of wheat.' He said to him, `Take your bill and make it eighty.' And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes. "Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.” ...............
Reflection.... What can be said about a dishonest manager who lures the very same people he has cheated into cheating their master for their gain as well as that of the dishonest manager himself? And what was the master thinking when he praised the dishonest manager for colluding with the master’s debtors to cheat him? Once again it seems Jesus is spinning tales to elude our minds and awaken our spiritual consciousness “…for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.”
.................Being the presumptive “children of light” the disciples and we tend to be rather clever when it comes to construing strategies to insure our security and survival. According to Jesus the same cannot be said with regard to our spiritual awareness. The dishonest manager saw money and those indebted to him as assets needed to insure his security and survival. He put his faith in himself and his cunning game plan. In so doing the dishonest manager made his grand scheme to acquire money and indebtedness his god, which of course never pays off. What the misguided manager failed to note is that money comes and money goes. One cannot secure his life by trying to hang onto it nor by coercing others into debt. This is not to say that money is not good. Money is good, except when it causes dishonesty and division between people and takes the place of God, in whom we put our faith and hope for security and survival. Money is good when it is an instrument for promoting love among all people.
.....................Which brings the current political scene to mind. What if this country spent the fifteen-hundred million dollars being dissipated on the 2016 presidential campaigns on cultivating relationships and loving our neighbors instead? What if the United States of America decided to take the Spirit of our 1789 Constitution seriously and truly sought to “promote the General welfare” of all people? What if “We, the people” chose to walk The Way of Jesus demanding those with the greatest position, power and pelf use their God given resource to cultivate relationship and promote love among all people? It is time for us individually and collectively to ask the question, “Who or what is our God? Whom do we and our leaders serve?” Because, “no slave can serve two masters,” and the way we spend our money reveals what is our God. If you found this post to be meaningful, please share by clicking on icons below. Thank you.