The way the world works

Readings for Friday November 6, 2009

First Reading: Romans 15:14-21
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 98
Gospel: Luke 16:1-8

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?’ He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’ Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’ 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.” (Lk 16:1-8)

I remember that when my wife and I went on our honeymoon, we took a cruise and had a few stops in Mexico. We were told that when we got off the boat and went to the markets, that we should try and haggle with the dealers in order to get a better price. This was a strange new concept to me, because when I go to the store the price is always set. So out we went into the markets, and low and behold there we were trying to talk all the dealers down in price. It was actually a lot of fun, especially since I couldn't go into my local grocery store and try and talk the cashier down in price. That little experience was a reminder to me that depending on where you are, it is important to realize that things work a certain way.

In today's gospel, we read about the dishonest servant. We read about how in his crisis, he prudently settled some accounts in order to better his position. He was actually commended by his master for this quick action. I think that this parable teaches us too that the world works in a certain way. We must understand how it works, if we are ever to function effectively in it. Now I am not saying that we should compromise our beliefs and our values, but we should learn how certain things are and how things go.

As Saint Paul says today, "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." I believe that if we are to effectively proclaim the gospel and to make an impact in this world, then we first need to have an understanding and awareness of how things work.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you bless us with. Lord, give us the wisdom and the courage to persevere in this world for you. Lord, we pray that your will be done in our lives and that we will only serve you with all that we are. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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