Thursday, November 04, 2010

Their End Is Destruction

November 5, 2010
Friday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney

… Many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (Philippians 3:18-20)

Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. (Psalms 122:1)

“And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than the children of light.” (Luke 16:8)

Lord, help me to be a true child of Your light, dealing with my sisters and brothers in a prudent manner.

The steward had lost his position; there would be no changing that. He was going to have to rely on the kindness of his master’s debtors if he was going to make his way in the world. And so he went to each of them and removed his own markup, reducing their debts to only the amount owed the master.

The Pharisees, supposed “children of the light” of their day, and Jesus’s own followers would have been shocked by this parable. This simply wouldn’t have been done. But Jesus’s point is to be prudent with what we have in a time of imminent crisis. In this example, the steward was wise to build or shore up a community he would desperately need, that could provide long-term support, than to line his pocket with a few more fleeting coins.

It’s the difference Paul describes in today’s first reading, the difference between occupying ourselves with earthly things and conducting ourselves as examples of Christ. Christ doesn’t call on us to amass wealth and power at the expense of others. That is the way to destruction. Rather, he calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, to be prudent in our dealings with each other. The Master will concern Himself with collection of any debts they owe Him; we needn’t add our own judgment.

Forgive a debt—tangible or intangible—that someone owes you.