Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard the parable of the wicked and dishonest servant, whom the master punished for his dishonesty with his properties. Jesus told this parable to the people, so that they may understand that, the ways of this world are diametrically opposite to the ways of the Lord. And in the first reading, St. Paul told us how there are many those who did not follow the way of the Lord, as the enemies of the Lord, and there are then others who walk in the way of Christ.
It was mentioned that those who did not put their trust in God think only of earthly things, and their belly was their god. And this is indeed what the unfaithful and dishonest servant had done, as he was first of all, serving his own purposes and desires. The dishonest servant was not honest in his activities, and he was clearly not faithful to the charge given to him by his master.
It is likely that what the dishonest servant had done, that he was reported to his master, was exactly what he is doing afterwards to save his own neck. He lied to his master even more, corrupting the funds which is supposed to be under his care and responsibility. A steward is charged with taking care of his master’s wealth and property, and he is supposed to oversee all transactions done in his master’s name.
Thus the debts which the master collects from the people, were the responsibilities of that dishonest steward. And what did the steward do, according to Jesus? He was not trying to defend his innocence or try to do something good to atone for his mistakes. Instead, what he was doing, was exactly what he knew how to do, that is the wicked way of corruption. He went about to secure his own livelihood after his firing from his job.
He made the debts of those who owed money and things to his master to become lesser, for what purpose? It is so that when he was out of job, he would have people who were grateful for what he had done, even though it was wicked and dishonest, so that he would be taken care of properly. And this is indeed the way of the world, how the people of this world commonly act, to preserve their own well-being and safety, over that of the concerns for others, and over the principles of justice and righteousness.
But are we children of this world? Yes, we once were children of this world, and we lived according to the ways of this world. But ever since we were baptised in the Lord, and when we were immersed in the holy water of baptism, we were made the children of God, and as the children of God, we are no longer bound to the ways and customs of this world, but we are bound to the ways of the Lord.
And what the wicked servant had done, will not save him when he goes to face the Lord for judgment. Why is this so? It is indeed right that when Jesus said that the children of this world is good with the ways of the world, and indeed they do, for they know how to deal with the world. But all these are useless when we talk about the life that is to come. These ways may endear us to the world and its inhabitants, but it is not right and good in the sight of God.
Instead, the actions that conform to the desires of this world are contrary to the ways of the Lord, and they bring about condemnation rather than safety. Remember what Jesus said in one of the occasions? He said that it is better for us to build up and store riches for the afterlife, the world that is to come, rather than to build up wealth for ourselves in this world.
Why is this so? That is because whatever we have in this world, we will not carry over into the next life, that we will have with the Lord. Nothing that we have in this world, all the riches and wealth will help us to attain the glorious promises of God. Instead, what will truly help us on our way, is by obeying the will of God and His teachings, that is to love, to be merciful and forgiving, and to be faithful.
And we also have to be righteous and just in all judgments and in all the dealings we make with others. We must have love in all of our actions, and indeed if we have love, we would not even do anything that cause any discomfort for others and benefit only ourselves, which is exactly what the dishonest steward had done. Many people corrupted the funds in this world, which would have gone to help the poor and the less fortunate, and instead, they corrupted the funds to serve their own purposes and made themselves richer at the expense of others.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore what the master of the house praised the unworthy and dishonest servant was because that his cunning had saved him from the troubles of this world, and indeed, through what he does, he will certainly do well and thrive in the world. However, it does not secure him the passage to the life that is to come. To cheat and to be dishonest, and to be infatuated with money and possession are behaviours that will lead to damnation, or eternal death in hell.
Therefore, we are all presented with a clear choice. Should we strive to do well in this world, by being cunning, selfish and filled with desires? Or should we rather focus on building up our wealth in the life to come? Certainly, the answer is clear, that we have to do the latter. It does not mean that we have to reject or shun the world completely, but rather that we have to mind our actions, that they be based not our own human and personal desires, for wealth, possessions or anything else, but based on love which we ought to show first for God, and then also to our fellow brethren, our neighbours.
We cannot serve both God and money, and we cannot be both devoted to the Lord and to the possessions we have. Rather, what we should do is that, whatever blessings and graces we have received in the possessions we have, and what excess we have with us, we should dedicate it to helping those around us in need.
May Almighty God therefore awaken in us the love which we need to have, that in our actions, we may grow less and less selfish, and become ever more selfless. We hope that at the end of the day, we will be able to gain justification through our actions, and be found worthy of the glory of heaven, through what we have done well in this life, in accordance with the will of God. Amen.
First Reading :
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