Daily Archives: November 18, 2020
Psalm 113:1-8 (NRSV)
God the Helper of the Needy
1 Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
praise the name of the Lord.
2 Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time on and forevermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
4 The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust,
and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8 to make them sit with princes,
with the princes of his people.
Luke 16:1-1 (ESV)
The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
16 He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3 And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
“No servant can serve two masters” (Luke 16:13).
Have you heard about the dying man who won the lottery? Concerned that the excitement would be too much for him, the man’s family asked their parish priest to tell him the good news. When the pastor told the man that he had won $10 million, the man replied, “I want to give half of it to the Church.” The pastor was so surprised that he had a heart attack. This little joke tells us how much of an impact money can have on us.
Today’s Gospel asks us, “What is your attitude toward money?” Here are a few ideas that might help you answer that question.
First, having money is not a sin. It’s our LOVE of money that separates us from God. Jesus wants to be first in our lives – above our money and possessions.
Second, Jesus asks us to be good stewards of our money. He wants us to be prudent, honest, and responsible. We should never allow greed or dishonesty to dominate us. Instead, we should use our money wisely, invest it wisely, and be as generous as we can.
Third, donating to the Church and other charities, even if we can give only a small amount, is a key aspect of stewardship. Scripture calls us to hear “the cry of the poor” (Proverbs 21:13). We can be assured that whenever we give away our earthly treasures, God will reward us with heavenly treasures – “eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9).
Finally, remember that your money is not yours; it belongs to God. The moment you die, you will no longer own your money. Yes, you can give it to your children or to charity. However, money will be absolutely useless to you. The only way it will matter is the degree to which you have used it to help people; your family, your friends, the Church, and the poor.
Money is a very complex and emotional topic, so ask the Holy Spirit to help you learn how to keep it in the right perspective.
Jesus, teach me to be a good steward. Amen.