It gives me great encouragement that Jesus uses the example of a “chancer” to teach us a lesson about the kingdom of God!
It’s a difficult parable because the dishonest steward seems to be commended for pulling a fast one. But what he is actually being praised for is his shrewdness or astuteness.
A shrewd person grasps a critical situation and displays foresight to bring about a favourable resolution.
And this steward certainly managed to do this; he pulled a stroke to bring a good out of a potentially disastrous situation.
Of course this parable has a lot to tell us about the proper use of material wealth. The Lord expects us to be astute, while honest and responsible in their use and to put them at his service and the service of others.
As Christians all that we have beyond what we need belongs to the poor. And that’s a huge challenge!
But I think there is more to this parable. The key to the parable I think is the reference to the “children of light.”
That is what we are sons and daughters of light; our light is our faith—not in some abstract idea or set of propositions—but faith in a person, Jesus Christ.
The light of Christ brings meaning and hope into our lives; it is our real treasure, a most precious relationship that must be fostered.
Each one of us, having received such a gift, is expected to be astute in its use. We are stewards, not a worldly treasure, but of the light and responsible for sharing it with others.
This reminds me of Pope Francis call for all Christian to be in a “permanent state of mission.”
He says, “In fidelity to the example of Christ, it is vitally important for the Church today to go forth and preach the Gospel to all: to all places, on all occasions, without hesitation, reluctance or fear…Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place: on the street, in a city square, during work, on a journey.” (Evangelii Gaudium)
As disciple of Christ, as stewards of the light, we need to be astute using every opportunity, and even where it seems pointless and difficult to try, to share the gift that we have received—the gift that is the light of our faith.t’s a difficult parable because the dishonest steward seems to be commended for pulling a fast one. But what he is actually being praised for is his shrewdness or astuteness.
Painting ‘Children of the Light’ by Cornelis Monsma inspired by Colossians 1:9-14 http://www.pinterest.com/pin/173810866839241579/