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If you have not been trustworthy for dishonest money, who will entrust you with the real thing ?

Posté par diaconos le 7 novembre 2020

Si vous n’avez pas été dignes de confiance pour l’argent malhonnête, qui vous confiera le bien véritable ?  dans Religion sans-titre-1-600x348

Parable of the Infidel Bursar

# The faithful and wise Bursar is a parable from the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke, also found in Saint Matthew. It is the image of trust, respect, fidelity and prudence. For the Doctor of the Church, John Chrysostom, the faithful bursar is one who knows how to generously dispense the divine word and miracles like the pastors of the Church. John Chrysostom, in his study of the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, says that the title of bursar also refers to the powerful of the world, to kings who must help the people.

The saint reminds us that we are only dispensers of spiritual and material wealth, not the true owners. The archbishop also says that punishment hangs on the nose of the miser. # The Parable of the Unjust Steward or Parable of the Penitent Steward is a parable of Jesus which appears in Luke 16:1–13. According to the commentators of the New American Bible Revised Edition, the parable is about an agent who, knowing he is about to be fired for usury, repents of his sin, asking the debtors to only pay what they owe his master — rather than pay him as well.

This is in line with what John the Baptist tells the tax collectors and soldiers about exploiting tax payers and debtors earlier in the gospel. Jesus’ parable of the unjust manager is one of the most striking in all the Gospels. Jesus’ point is simply to show us what money is really for. Typically we think of ourselves first when we answer that question.

But Jesus invites us to realize that, first, our money isn’t really ours — we’re simply managing it for its real owner, God. Second, even « filthy lucre » can be pressed into the service of God and our neighbor. When it is, the benefits will last beyond this life — which the things we buy for ourselves won’t. For example, money can be used to spread the Gospel, through which the Holy Spirit will gather believers into Christ’s church. We will enjoy blessed fellowship with these believers forever, long after the money itself is gone.

From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke

At that time, Jesus said to his ffolowers : « I say to you, make friends with dishonest money, so that on the day when it is no longer there, these friends may welcome you into eternal habitations. He who is trustworthy in the least thing is trustworthy also in a great thing.
He that is dishonest in the least thing is also dishonest in a great thing. If you have not been trustworthy for dishonest money, who will entrust you with the true good ?
And if you have not been trustworthy for other people, what is yours, who will give it to you? No servant can serve two masters : either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will cling to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.»

When they heard all this, the Pharisees, who loved money, made fun of Jesus. Then he said to them : « You are among those who pretend to be righteous in the eyes of the people, but God knows your hearts; for what is prestigious to people is an abominable thing in the sight of God. » (Lk 16:9-15)

Make friends with unjust wealth

What are these unjust riches ? And what are the friends we must make through them ? The reason why Jesus called the goods of this world unjust was explained in many different ways. It is because there is almost always some injustice, near or far, in the way they were acquired or in the use to which they were put.

How then was this bursar unjust? Firstly, by dissipating his master’s property, and then by disposing of it for his own personal profit. This is how most people make unjust the riches that God entrusts to them. Instead of considering themselves as administrators who will account to him, they make themselves the true owners and, forgetting their responsibility, they accumulate these goods in their avarice, display them to feed their pride, or dissipate them to satisfy their passions.

What use, then, does Jesus advise them to make of these goods, which have become unjust in their hands ?  The parable gives the answer: The time is approaching when everyone will be called to account for their administration, so they must imitate the bursar, who hastened to take advantage of a last reprieve to make sure that his friends received him in their homes : « And I say to you, Make friends.  » (Lk 16, 9).

Who are these friends ? One says : « The supreme friend that we must make is God himself by using the goods he entrusts to us in his service.  » Olshausen says : « It is the Lord Jesus, who sees the good that we do to the least of his brothers and sisters as done to himself ». For Meyer, these friends are the angels, whom Jesus himself represents to us as those who bring the righteous into the kingdom of God.

But the most generally accepted interpretation is that these friends are people: ignorant to teach, unhappy to relieve, poor to help. They must be bound by charity, by true Christian charity. Their recognition will remain until the next century. The meaning of the two lessons is therefore similar, but the last one is better suited to the parable, since it was the goods that the bursar suddenly lacked that the bursar administered.

This word for tabernacle or tent is an allusion to the life of the patriarchs who, as foreigners and travellers, pitched their tents for a day. In the future economy they will be eternal; they will be the dwellings of the house of the Father, the building which is the work of God.

As these friends were poor and unfortunate rescuers, they limited themselves to welcoming them with gratitude and love. In some cases also these poor people who were helped could become the instruments of their salvation for those who came to their aid. The goods entrusted to us, such as those administered by the bursar, are not to be given to the poor.

As these friends were poor and unfortunate rescuers, they limited themselves to welcoming them with gratitude and love. In some cases also these poor people who were helped could become the instruments of their salvation for those who came to their aid. The goods entrusted to us, like those administered by the bursar, are not ours but God’s. If, like him, we are not faithful in the use we make of them, could God give us what is ours?

The goods of the earth are God’s, who entrusts them to whomever he wants them, for a time, and they always remain for us external goods. Salvation, on the contrary, eternal life, is ours, because it is an inheritance legitimately acquired from us, and above all because it is assimilated into us in such a way as to become an integral part of our spiritual and immortal nature.

This remarkable word opens up an unexpected perspective on the dignity that Jesus attributes to the human soul, and also on the state of God’s children in heaven, where everything they possess will be perfectly identical to their being and will be appropriated to them forever through endless progress in the knowledge and love of God.

The teaching that Jesus gave here provoked the sneers of the money-loving Pharisees. Jesus declared that the fame they enjoyed among men was an abomination to God who knew their hearts. The law that prevailed until John was not abolished by the publication of this kingdom of God, which was the object of the ardent pursuit of many. It will subsist as much as heaven and earth.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christians websites

◊ Catholic exchange : click here to red the paper  →   The True Wealth of Our True Master

◊ By Simon : click here to red the paper  →  How not to think like a toddler about money

Make Friends with the Mammon of Iniquity

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