TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle C/Year II (September 18, 2016)
Am 8:4-7/1Tm 2:1-8/Lk 16:1-13
The steward was squandering the property of his master. When the master knew about it, he summoned his steward to render an account as he would remove him from his job. The steward summoned all the debtors of his master and reduced to half their debts. In this way, the steward believed that his master’s debtors would be indebted to him and would be generous to him in the time of his needs. Upon learning what his dishonest steward did, the master even praised the steward for making use of his influence and resources in order to assure him of his future.
In this parable, the Lord is not teaching us to be dishonest like the steward who squandered his master’s property. God is not pleased with wicked deeds and He abhors evil. The Lord is the Truth and He can never tolerate deceit. As Christians, we must never cheat, corrupt or swindle. We ought to live in truth and conform our ways and deeds to honesty.
The parable teaches us that God has blessed us with a lot of things in life: work, money, property, relationships, power, health, and life. We are not owners of what we possess; we are merely stewards of our Master, God. Those blessings are not meant for us to use them as we please but rather to use them as the Master pleases. We have to make use of those things not simply to make us happy in this present world but most especially to assure us of eternal salvation. We have to remember that all living things here in this world will come to an end and all things will vanish. But then death is not the end; it is rather the beginning of the new life in the second life. Our life here on earth is only a foretaste of the life to come; it is only a dot as compared to everlasting life. Consequently, we have to focus more on the second life rather than on the life here on earth.
We are simply pilgrims here on this world and we are journeying towards heaven. We will not live here on earth forever. This world is only a testing ground for us, whether we are faithful to God our Master or not. For this reason, in order for us to arrive successfully in heaven, we have to be faithful to our Master by making use of the things that He has entrusted us with in order to assure us of eternal salvation.
Indeed, majority of us are doing our best to make sure that we have a better life here on earth. What Jesus wants is that at least we exert the same effort for us to gain eternal salvation in the second life. If our effort is less, then we may lose heaven. If our effort is more, then we are assured of everlasting life. Since we are talking of eternal life here where there will be no turning back once we have entered into it, then it is much more pressing for us to do everything in order to gain it. We are wise here on earth, but Jesus is expecting us to be wiser for heavenly rewards. We have to make use of what we have even with dishonest money to please God by serving the needy.