Meditation for the Day

Friday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time, November 8

May We Always Recognize That Everything We Have Is a Gift from God, and May Each of Us Be Wise and Responsible Stewards of These Gifts and Resources Which God Has Placed at Our Disposal.

Our Lord says to us in today’s Gospel, “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.”

I have spoken about this more than once in past meditations, but every now and then, we find ourselves with a Scripture passage which tends to cause more confusion than understanding.

On the surface, it might appear that Jesus is approving of the dishonesty shown by the steward in today’s Gospel. But when we view this parable in light of the local customs of Jesus’ day, then the significance of our Lord’s message begins to become much more apparent.

The heart of today’s parable does not lie in the question of the steward’s morality, but rather in his ability to be shrewd by ingratiating himself with his master’s debtors, so as to secure a favorable place for himself among those he had previously defrauded or overcharged.

Such shrewdness on the part of the steward would not only curry favor for himself with the debtors, but might also put himself in a more favorable position with the master of whom he had recently taken unfair advantage.

And our Lord responds to this by alerting us to our need to use spiritual foresight; that we, too, should be astute and intelligent in our wise use of our time, talents and treasures – the gifts which God gives to us – so that our Eternal Master may compliment us, rewarding us with a place in His Eternal Kingdom.

For it is in God’s Kingdom where we truly belong! And it is the path of decency and honesty which guide us to that which we were made to inherit, for God gives us the grace to distinguish between right and wrong, between what is holy and what is sinful.

Depending upon the audience, negative parables, which show the dangers of evil, sometimes teach a more forceful lesson than those that praise goodness. And the moral that Jesus is drawing from this parable is: “…the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.”

In other words, worldly prudence is dealing with what pleases the eyes, the ears and the appetites. And sadly – for those obsessed with materialistic pleasures – worldly prudence has an attraction a thousand times more magnetic than spiritual prudence!

When one is obsessed with worldly pleasures – greed, selfish gratification, ego-centric thinking, and immoral and unethical actions in all its varying forms – one does not think of God or the spiritual consequences of their actions. In their way of life, “the children of this world” place themselves first and God last, for moral and ethical conduct are terms foreign to their way of thinking and acting.

Yet, we find in Paul’s way of thinking, in our First Reading today, that decency and goodness exist in every person. Through the grace of God, each person has the ability to choose that which distinguishes himself from animals. Through the grace of God, we have the ability to be a holy people, a people who can think and act morally and ethically.

Paul writes, “I myself am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another.”

And, as children of God created in His image and likeness, we are to be a people who live in the world, not of it. We are to be “children of light” and not “children of this world”, as Jesus teaches us today. And Paul reminds us in his Letter to the Philippians, “…our citizenship is in heaven.” For Heaven is the eternal home for which our heart and soul yearns and desires after a lifetime of tears and struggles.

The Gospels teach us that our inordinate love for materialism – the disproportionate love of money, fame, power and all other earthly pleasures – tends to crowd out our love for God and love of neighbor. Jesus makes clear through His teachings that our hearts must either be possessed by God’s Love, or our hearts will be possessed by the love of something else.

May you and I always recognize that everything we have, our families, the possessions we call our own, even our very life – all are gifts from God. May each of us be wise and responsible stewards of the gifts and resources which God has placed at our disposal.

And may we recognize that true stewardship includes our wise and prudent usage of time, talent and treasure. For with what we, as “children of light” have been entrusted, we already know in our hearts that everything rightfully belongs to Eternal Love Himself.

******************************************************************

Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

******************************************************************

Scripture for the Day

  • “And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. ‘For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.’(Luke 16:8)
  • “For many…conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their ‘shame.’ Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven.” (Philippians 3:18ac-20a)
  • “I myself am convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to admonish one another.” (Romans 15:14)
  • “No one should seek his own advantage, but that of his neighbor.” (1 Corinthians 10:24)
  • “The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
  • “Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
  • “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10)

******************************************************************

Prayer for the Day

“O most compassionate Jesus…

I will put Your gifts to the best use of which my soul is capable.

Living faith will support me.

Whatever the form might be, under which You send me Your grace,

I will accept it as coming directly from You,

without considering the vessel in which You send it…

I will always accept it with submission to Your holy will.”

Saint Faustina (Diary, 1759)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s