Homilette for Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday of the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

(Luke 16:1-8)

Social activists have a saying about money. They claim, “Money is like fertilizer; it needs to be spread around before it does much good.” In the gospel today Jesus expresses his assent to the statement. He tells us to dispense our treasure to assist the poor so that we might earn a place in heaven.

The parable which Jesus employs in the passage has furrowed Christian eyebrows throughout the ages. Many wonder whether Jesus is approving of fraud when he has the rich man speak admiringly of the steward for looking out singularly for his own welfare. However, the accolade is only similar to that a theft victim may utter who stands in awe of a thief for picking his pocket without him feeling a thing. The rich man is only impressed by the capacity of the steward to provide for his future with few resources. He does not call the action righteous.

The key to the passage is to understand what it means to be “children of the light.” Christ has opened our eyes so that we see the poor as our brothers and sisters providing us opportunity to demonstrate our love. Surely our discipleship of Christ involves more than prayer and fellowship. It requires service which we render by working for a just society.