Friday, November 08, 2019

Prepare A Full Account Of Your Stewardship

Prepare A Full Account Of Your Stewardship

I have finished preaching the Gospel of Christ. Thus I aspire to proclaim the Gospel not where Christ has already been named so that I do not build on another's foundation, but as it is written: Those who have never been told of him shall see, and those who have never heard of him shall understand.  Romans 15:19C-21

“…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

Jesus indeed uses some unlikely examples to illustrate the difficulty of his call.  Many of the subjects of his parables and the beneficiaries of his miracles are outside the immediate Jewish community.  Consider the Samaritan woman at the well.  The Roman centurion. The leper. Levi, the dreaded tax collector. And any number of other unsavory characters with whom he cavorted.  

Jesus knew that he had to “fish outside the proverbial bowl.  A national Cursillo leader used this expression on a visit with the Arlington Secretariat ten years ago (or longer).  Just reaching out to the people already in the temple did not reach “who have never been told of him.”

The parable of the dishonest steward teaches several lessons (if we can open our minds to understand experiences from such a character). 

First, we should use our time, talents, and treasure prudently because we do not know what is up ahead, around the bend in the future. Second, we should offer our obedience, humility, and fidelity to those in positions of responsibility who act with justice and kindness.  Finally, we also can see (once again) the incompatibility of serving God and being a slave to riches. To be dependent upon wealth is opposed to the teachings of Jesus who counseled complete dependence on the Father as one of the characteristics of the Christian disciple (Lk 12:22–39).[i]

Are you ready to prepare a full account of your stewardship?  Fortunately, we have tools available (like the Ignatian Examen), which help us to do so every night.  Also, we have the sacrament of Reconciliation available all the time, not just during Lent and Easter. (Yeah, I know we all learned about our “Easter duty” to go to Confession once a year.  But the healing grace of this sacrament is there for the taking anytime.)

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