Daily Archives: September 18, 2010

Twenty-fifth Sunday – Ordinary Time Cycle C

18 September 2010

Reflecting on Luke 16:1-13

Hi everybody.  It’s me, Jesus.  Sorry about that parable today.  I know, all of you who own your own businesses want to know why it’s okay for that steward to cheat his boss like that.  Here’s the thing: if you had lived in the Middle East in the First Century you would have laughed and applauded my brilliance when I spoke that parable.

The Shrewd Stewart Art - work of Kazakhstan Artist, Nelly Bube

My prophet Amos had it so right.   I love that part where he called out those vendors and merchants for the religious hypocrites they were.  Sure!  Hurry up and get these religious observances over so we can start cheating the poor and trampling on the needy.  See, that’s what I was getting at in my story all those years later.  It takes a lot of energy and cunning to steal and exploit people.  (These days I’m especially thinking about the murderous drug cartels in my beautiful, Catholic Mexico.  And all the drug abusers north of the border who keep them in business.)

See, the steward was stealing from his master, and when he knew he was getting fired he used the same cunning to start making friends with the very people he’d been cheating for years.  Think how much hard work it took for them to pay the master in all that olive oil and wheat, and he was taking a huge chunk off the top!  So he canceled out his huge commission, which made their debts so much less.  It was like he knew he was on a sinking ship and he decided to give all his stuff away to the guys manning the lifeboats.  Now that’s smart!

So, the moral is: make friends with the poor, the beloved of my Father.  Look at me.  I was so poor I was buried in a tomb that belonged to somebody else.  No problem.  I knew I wouldn’t be staying long.  And you’re not long for the grave either, every one of you who loves me and recognizes me, as Mother Teresa said, in my distressing disguise of the poor.

Of course she’s here.  Where else would she be?  You should have seen all her friends up here opening those gates when they heard she was coming. Happy 100th birthday, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).