Jesus said to his disciples,
"A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
'What is this I hear about you?
Prepare a full account of your stewardship,
because you can no longer be my steward.'
The steward said to himself, 'What shall I do,
now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me?
I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that,
when I am removed from the stewardship,
they may welcome me into their homes.'
He called in his master's debtors one by one.
To the first he said,
'How much do you owe my master?'
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
With the recent popularity of those big jackpot lotteries, we’ve seen some people become rather wealthy overnight. Those of us who’ve never won the lottery often speculate about what we’d do if we won. How would our lives change? Would becoming rich alter our values? Would we act differently if we suddenly had all the money we could want?
Strangely enough, such questions seem to be behind the puzzling story in today’s Gospel, where Jesus appears to praise an unjust steward who squanders his master’s money, then proceeds with more shady dealings to insure his own security.
Scripture scholars are not exactly sure what this story is meant to show, but one explanation may be that Jesus wanted us to have our priorities straight about the use of wealth. Those who would be disciples may have to use money for the sake of the Kingdom, but they must never be controlled by it. Detachment is the key. The Kingdom must be our priority.
Even if we never win the lottery, most of us are challenged in our use of money. We need it to insure security for ourselves and our families. We need it to further the ministries of our parishes and our Christian efforts at evangelization and education. Nevertheless, our priorities must be clear. The Kingdom calls us to be just stewards, always wary of being distracted by wealth and the need to acquire it.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
• In the first reading (Amos 8:4–7), Amos tells the people that God is angry because of the way some of the people were treating the poor. What were they doing to the poor?
What is the message of Amos for the people who were cheating and stealing from the poor?
• What does Paul ask for in the second reading (1 Timothy 2: 1–8)? For whom does he ask for prayers?
What does God want to have happen?
• In the Gospel, Jesus tells a parable about a rich man who learned that his manager was stealing and wasting his property. Then the manager works out way to cheat that is also going to cause his boss to lose money and property. The manager still commended the crook for being clever. Why?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
• Use money that you have saved up to buy something for someone else. You can also donate some money to a charity that means something to you.
• Offer to do chores around the house to earn some money.
• Find an unused jar or box and decorate it to create your own piggy bank in which to store any funds that you earn.