Sep 18 (Lk 16:1-13)

A young man who had recently converted to Christianity was filled with a lot of zeal for the Lord.

>> He was a barber by profession. 
Once, he got a customer, with whom he engaged into a conversation (as do many of the barbers!).
As they were talking, it was revealed that the customer was a Christian, who was no longer practising his faith and had little consideration for the Church and acts of devotion to God. 
Meanwhile, the barber had lathered up the customer for a shave, and had the razor in his hand.
Holding the sharp razor in his hand, ready to shave the customer, the young and zealous Christian barber asked this question: “Are you prepared to meet your God?”
The customer..

… seeing the razor in hand and the question posed with so much of vigour…

… fled the shop, with lather on his face!
What about us?

“Are we prepared to meet our God?”
The Gospel of the Day is a sharp reminder on the need for us to take our spiritual life more seriously…

… have a greater zeal for spiritual matters than even those with worldly desires

…. Make a radical choice for the Lord and Him alone, as the treasure of our life! 

Jesus speaks of the parable of the dishonest steward. 

 
The Steward, who was working under a rich man, has been reported for deceitful service. (Lk 16:1)
He realized that his job would be terminated very shortly!

>> He needed to produce his accounts.
.. it was a situation of tension for him!  
But this steward was a wise and shrewd person!
He did not allow the tense situation to overpower him!

>> Instead, he became the master of the situation and became a controller of the entire crisis-situation…
His brain worked super-fast…his shrewdness gained momentum!

>> He called his master’s debtors, and his pen was set to work…
The debt of one hundred jars of olive oil, was manipulated to fifty…

>> The debt of hundred measures of wheat was reduced to eighty…

It is good for us to know the process of business done in the first century Jewish society.
The amount charged to a customer who purchased on credit would include three things:

1. The price of the product

2. The interest charged by the owner

3. The commission to be earned by the steward.

The steward could add whatever commission he thought he could collect.

>> That was his profit.
In this case of our parable, the shrewd steward probably reduced his commission, and perhaps some of the interest added to the loan.
>> The rich master lost no money as he made sufficient profit…

… The customers gained happiness as their debt was reduced.
>> The steward lost some of his profit…

… but he gained much more: an enhanced reputation, some friends, and lots of security.
It was a win-win situation for all – the Master, the Customers and the Steward!
Well.. all this sounds interesting…

… with this shrewd steward and his crafty style of management.

But what is the message in for us?
One important message that we can take home is that…

… the steward was ever alert and prepared to take any risks and chances, to ensure a good future!

>> He never went into a lethargic or casual mode!
The shrewd steward was ever-prepared to face the future! 

What about us? 

>> Are we prepared…

… in our spiritual life?

… to meet our God? 

The shrewd steward never allowed the “Attitude of Lethargy” to conquer him.

> He was pro-active.

>> He was courageous.

>>> He was bold.

Here is the challenge for us…

>> If this is what the Steward could do, to earn those things that are temporary…

… how much more should we be doing for those things that count for eternity?
>> If this is what the Steward could do, to please his boss & for a secure future life…

… should we not be doing much more, to please God?

Sometimes, it’s incredible to see the great efforts undertaken by people to gain expertise and mastery in the skills of the world…

>> Sportspersons practise for many many hours to sharpen their skills…

>> Singers and musicians put in many many hours of practise to gain proficiency…

>> Students preparing for competitive exams spend nights & days to crack the tests…

Do we put that same kind of love, energy and creativity…

… into building up the Church

… into contributing to the Kingdom of God

… and into the things that are to serve God?

We can’t afford to get lethargic in matters related to God, to eternal life, to spirituality etc.
However, many of the times, we take things for granted…

>> Skipping prayer time or spiritual exercises… (We are tired!)

>> Failing to read sometime of Word of God…(We have so many other works!)

>> Missing the Sunday Holy Eucharist…(We get that as the only day to relax more!)

>> Failing to go for confessions… (We say that anyway God will understand me!)

>> Not caring much about our spiritual life…(We remark that God is after all, lenient and nice!)

The Parable of the Shrewd Steward has some negative shades…

>> But it has a very relevant and challenging tone to shake us off from our “Attitude of lethargy” to Life.

We are put forth this question: “Are you prepared to meet your God?”
Are we going to flee away from this question…

… with the lather of lethargy and laziness clinging to us?? 

God bless! Live Jesus!

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