We do have a puzzling parable that admits to various interpretations. It begins with the master saying to the steward, “Prepare a full account of your stewardship.” The steward is about to be fired. Now, he needs to get the books in order.
1) He asks, “What shall I do?” One approach to understanding this parable is to consider it to be about the prudent use of possessions. The steward in the parable is suspected of squandering his master’s property. What seems to be highlighted here is the steward’s astuteness and cleverness in finding a way out of the crisis. The crisis was urgent. The steward is losing his job. He will take care of others so they will take care of him.
2) The steward reduces the interest at his master’s expense. The master may have been an absentee landlord who left the managing of his affairs to the steward. The master made his money off the back of the peasants and the steward was to manage his affairs. The steward is praised not for being dishonest but by making a quick way out of his crisis.
3) The collected sayings that make up the second half of the Gospel emphasize the correct way of using possessions and wealth. For example, you cannot equally serve God and Mammon. Mammon being earthly wealth.
Possibly, we can focus upon the initial direction to the steward, “Prepare a full account of your stewardship.” We have reflected upon stewardship in the past. Basically, stewardship means that I recognize all is a gift from God. In gratitude for God’s blessings I share my time, my talent and my treasure with God and with others. I am grateful for the many ways that this happens in our parish.
Wherever we are we can ask “Can I do more?” How am I sharing my time? How am I sharing my talent? How am I sharing my treasure? Can I do more in one or more of these areas for my parish?
One way of being a good steward could be sharing invitations. We will begin the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults on Sunday, October 2nd. I can invite adults who need to make their Sacraments to sign up. Our Parish School of Religion begins on Monday, September 19th. I can invite parents and caregivers, whose children are enrolled in public school, to come to our Parish School of Religion for religious instructions. If I know someone who does not come to church, I can invite that person to come to one of our Masses.
Let us prayerfully reflect upon that direction today, “Prepare a full account of your stewardship.” Let us think about how we are actually sharing our time, talent and treasure with our parish. May we respond wholeheartedly to this invitation.
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Sunday, September 18th
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