Reflection 22nd September 2019

A Reflection for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Lk 16: 1-13. ( )

Today’s Gospel sounds odd at first. Is Jesus praising dishonesty? No, Jesus was speaking to people in a different time when it was lawful for a steward to make profit on the transactions that he carried out for his employer.

So, what Jesus is praising is not whatever wrongdoing and cheating the steward had done to his master but his cuteness, or as the Gospel says his astuteness, at reducing the profit that he had planned to make in order to have friends after he was dismissed.

Jesus then goes on to spell out what this means in practical terms for the community which he is addressing. He says that we can’t serve both God and money – it is either one or the other. All the resources of the world are gifts that God has given for the good of all. 

For each one of us the question is: how do I use the resources that I have, including money? Is money the most important thing in my life? Do I spend it all on myself and never think of others? What about those around us who go to bed at night wondering where they will get the money to put food on the table or pay bills. If I have enough or extra, do I ever consider them?

But as well as sharing, how often do we ask ourselves why some people are so poor and others have more than they would need for several lifetimes?

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is challenging us to not just look after ourselves but to look around us and open our eyes and hearts not just to the needs of others but also to the often unfair ways of society, and, if possible, to do something to make society fairer and more just.

Maureen Sheehy – Maureen is a lay woman who works part-time as a trainer and facilitator with local community groups.