Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

 

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Luke 16.1-13

“The Children of this world are more astute…”

The story of the dishonest steward has an uncomfortable feel about it. At first it almost seems that Jesus is tolerating, even praising his shady dealings. No, it is not for his dishonesty that the man is praised, but for the shrewd manner in which he faced his dismissal. Dishonest he might be, but this man is whole-hearted and single-minded in pursuit of his aims, and that is what is drawn to our attention. “For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light”.

Against this background Jesus speaks of our own accountability for the gifts that have been entrusted to us: the time will come when we must offer an account of our stewardship of the gifts that have been entrusted to us. Jesus suggests that if we showed similar whole-hearted and single-minded commitment in our search for the things of God, then we would no doubt progress considerably further along the road to being children of light. The sad truth is that within the context of our own lives commitment to the pursuit of the spiritual is sometimes less firm than our determination in the pursuit of material ends.

The Gospel makes radical demands of us; there is a fundamental option to be made. God or money, says Jesus, you cannot be the slave of both. In a world that promises happiness through possessions, there is real need to listen to this challenge. In a culture that measures success above all else in economic terms, there is a falseness that has to be unmasked. The message of the gospel offers freedom from such bondage; free not to be possessed by possessions; free to grow in the love and service of God; free in the knowledge that to serve is to reign.