Friday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time – Year B

Posté par diaconos le 5 novembre 2021

Friday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time - Year B dans Catéchèse parable-unjust-steward

The unfaithful steward

The Unfaithful Steward is a parable of Jesus Christ written in the Gospel of Luke. It relates, among other things, the non-attachment to earthly goods. According to Gaudentius of Brescia, one must be attached to sharing : « The Lord Jesus is the true teacher who teaches his disciples the precepts necessary for salvation. » He told his Apostles of that time the parable of the steward to exhort them, and all believers today, to be faithful in giving alms.

This venerable man does indeed say that one should not spend by wasting, and that one should live as a Pilgrim on earth. The believer must attach himself to heavenly goods, concludes the saint. The parable of the faithful and wise steward is another parable of Jesus in Luke, which is also found in Matthew. It is an picture of trust, respect, faithfulness and prudence. Through these ethical values, it comes close to the cardinal and theological virtues.

For the Doctor of the Church John Chrysostom, the faithful bursar is the one who knows how to dispense the divine word and miracles with generosity, like the pastors of the Church. John Chrysostom, in his study of the Gospel according to St Matthew, says that the title of bursar also refers to the powerful of the world, the 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 over the nose of the miser

From the Gospel according to Luke

01 Jesus said to the disciples, « A rich man had a manager who was reported to him as squandering his property. 02 He called him in and said to him, ‘What do I hear about you? Give me the accounts of your management, for you can no longer be my manager. » 03 The manager said to himself, « What shall I do, since my master is taking away my management? Work the land ? I don’t have the strength. Beg? I would be ashamed.

04 I know what I am going to do, so that when I am removed from my stewardship, people will welcome me into their homes. » 05 So he called in, one by one, those who were in debt to his master. He asked the first, « How much do you owe my master? » 06 He answered, « A hundred barrels of oil. » The manager said to him, « Here is your receipt; quickly sit down and write fifty. »

07 Then he asked another : « And you, how much do you owe ? » He answered : « A hundred bags of wheat. » The manager said to him, « Here is your receipt; write eighty. » 08 The master praised this dishonest manager because he had acted with skill; for the sons of this world are more skillful among themselves than the sons of light. (Lk 16, 1-8)

The parable of the unfaithful steward

A rich man had a steward whose misdeeds were brought to his attention. He called him to account and removed him from his post. The bursar considered the various courses of action open to him and decided that the best was to secure friends who would receive him into their homes. He sent for his master’s debtors and told them to write new notes, on which their debts were reduced in various proportions.

The master praised the skill of his steward. Jesus set this as an example to his disciples and pointed out to them that they were inferior to the children of this age in prudence.) His master knew everything, so he sent for him, asked him for an account of his administration and announced his dismissal. As it took the bursar some time to produce this account, he took advantage of it without wasting a moment to get out of trouble.

« I know what I will do, so that when I am dismissed from the administration, they may receive me into their homes » (Lk 16, 4). This monologue is admirable in its precision and finesse. The bursar did not let himself be troubled, he thought about it, spoke to himself, weighed and rejected the means he did not want; then, suddenly, he exclaimed : « I know ».

His thoughts fell upon certain people whom he referred to only as they, who could be of use to him. What gave him so much knowledge and energy was that he had taken seriously the announced dismissal : « …when I am dismissed, they will receive me into their houses. » One hundred measures of oil: this is the Hebrew bath, equal to the Attic metrete, which contained about 40 litres. The discount of fifty baths (2000 litres) was therefore considerable.

This oil had been bought several times by the debtor, who traded in it and left a note in the hands of the bursar. The bursar returned the note to the debtor, inviting him to change the figure or rather to make a new note. All this was done immediately.

The horn, a measure for dry goods, was equivalent to 10 baths. The bursar reduced this value by twenty per cent for the benefit of the debtor. The difference he made between the latter and the former showed that he had regard to the circumstances of fortune in which these men, whom he knew perfectly well, might find themselves. Everywhere the same skill was shown.

The master of the parable praised his steward for the injustice, with irony, of his skill. These last words are a reflection of Jesus, showing how he heard the praise of the master of the bursar. This is why Jesus was able to propose his conduct to the imitation of his disciples. In the same way, elsewhere he recommended that they be as careful as snakes, and he invoked the example of a selfish friend or an unjust judge. In all these cases, the essential thing was to understand the point of comparison.

Jesus motivated his exhortation to prudence by a consideration which the experience of all times confirms, alas! It was that his disciples were far from exercising the same prudence in their eternal interests as the worldly people did in their earthly affairs.

He called by a well-known Hebraism, sons of this age, or of the present economy, or of this world, those who were born in it and who behaved according to the spirit and maxims which reigned in it; and sons of the light, those who were enlightened, penetrated, and regenerated by the divine truth.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian sites

◊  Catholic for flife : click here to read the paper → HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE THIRTY-FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

◊ Catholic Culture : click here to read the paper →   Friday of the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time, Year B

The Hardest Parable Ever (Unjust Steward)

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