Gospel of 8th November 2019 - Luke 16: 1-8
Jesus said to his disciples:
'There was a rich man and he had a steward denounced to him for being wasteful with his property. He called for the man and said, "What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer." Then the steward said to himself, "Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed. Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes."
Then he called his master's debtors one by one. To the first he said, "How much do you owe my master?" "One hundred measures of oil" was the reply. The steward said, "Here, take your bond; sit down straight away and write fifty." To another he said, "And you, sir, how much do you owe?" "One hundred measures of wheat" was the reply. The steward said, "Here, take your bond and write eighty."
'The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.'
Reflection on the Painting
Today's Gospel reading is one of the more surprising parables ever told by Jesus. The main character in our story is very much an antihero: 'The Parable of the Dishonest Steward'. The steward has indeed been dishonest and knows that he will get fired. So what does he do to try and mend his ways? He goes to each of the people who owes a debt to his boss and tries to gain favour. Not only that, he drastically reduces the amount of their payment to square their accounts with his boss. And in a surprising twist, when the boss finds out what his steward has done, he pats him on the back and congratulates him for his initiative and shrewd actions. So Jesus tells us of someone who, having acted unjustly and having being exposed by his employer, went to great trouble to try and make up for his mistakes. Jesus herewith prompts us to take stock of how we stand with God.
This idea of 'taking stock' does make me think of many businesses towards the end of year checking their inventory. Children as well with get their end of semester reports soon as well. So in the same way should we take stock of our spiritual lives regularly and see where we are with God, how much time we have invested towards Him, what heavenly treasures we have built up, what is missing from our spiritual inventory etc…
As stock checks of businesses would/could directly influence share prices and company valuations such as on Wall Street, I chose this lovely scene of Wall Street by Gary Kim, a figurative contemporary painter. On the topic of Wall Street, I recently read an article that moral-responsible investing is booming, as some Christians move to match their faith with their stock buying. This rise of faith-based investing must be applauded... To read on see: www.christianart.today/daily-gospel-reading/228
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