THE SHREWD SERVANT

Friday, November 6, 2020

In Palestine, there were many absentee landlords. The master may have been one of these, and his business may well have been entrusted to his steward’s control, but the steward had followed a career of embezzlement. The master became much aware of the fraudulent acts of his servant and decided to terminate his appointment. The servant will not want to give up even at this point. He knew he had lost his job, but a brilliant idea came to him. Since he has no strength to dig and he’s too ashamed to beg, he decided to falsify the entries in the account books so that the debtors were debited with far less than they owed.

The effects of his action may be on two counts. In the first instance, the debtors would be eternally grateful to him; and in the second and very effective reason, he had involved the debtors in his own fraud and misconduct, and if the worst came to the worst, he was now in a strong position to exercise a little judicious blackmail on them. One would’ve expected an outright condemnation on this servant for his misdemeanours; but on the contrary, he was highly praised by his master because he acted shrewdly; bringing out the lesson that “the sons of this world are clever in their own generation than the sons of light.

It’s necessary to register here that Jesus did not praise the servant for being dishonest, and he has not given us a scriptural background to be dishonest, but the lesson is apt. If only the sons of light, Christians were as eager in their attempt to attain goodness as those with more worldly concerns are in their attempts to attain money and comfort, they would’ve been better people and of course, a better society. If only we can give as much attention to the things which concern our souls as we do to our businesses and other material concerns, we would’ve been better human beings. Over and over again, we expend more time with full attention on pleasures, on hobbies, on material acquisition, on partying, on everything that gives comfort, leisure and more; but we give little or no time to God and His Church. Our Christianity will begin to be real and more effective only when we spend as much time and energy on it as we do on our worldly activities.

Prayer: Lord, help us live in this world as though it were only a temporary stopover, not a lasting home. Amen!

Fr. Francis Bebia
Regina Pacis, Ofumbongha.

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