“The wise steward” is a call to understand our nothingness. A steward literally means a person whose function is to manage other people’s resources. They do this with their capabilities, support and help. They are also people who serve others, especially in public places.
When Jesus talks about stewards, He means everyone whom God has entrusted with something. It can be a gift, a soul, congregation, family, job, people etc.
In today’s gospel when Peter asks Jesus if the parable is for them or all, instead of giving a yes or no answer, Jesus goes on to give four types of stewards. Hence, implies that the parable is for everyone.
In essence, God entrusts us with his gifts and resources and expects us to use them for the salvation of souls and the glory of His name. So the wise steward is one who understands this and acts accordingly,
The gospel of today is simply a continuation from that of yesterday. Today, Jesus asks his disciples to be vigilant and ready. This is because of the unexpected hour of His coming. He will come at the hour beyond our expectation. The best remedy is to keep watch.
If the owner of a house knows the hour the thief will come, He will make every effort not to give Him a breakthrough. So it is good to be ready, for no one knows when the son of man will come.
Hence the trustworthy and wise steward is one whom the master places over his household and comes back to see him acting according to instruction.
We are Stewards
We are like stewards. God blesses us with gifts, positions, souls, talents, friends, family, people to serve etc.
He has made many in charge of our economy, country, state, organisations, etc. And He expects us to make good use of these for the glory of His name.
What are we doing with what God has given to us? What account can we truly give with what God gives to us? In everything we do, one thing is sure; there is a day of reckoning.
The Four types of Stewards
In the gospel, we find four different types of stewards. We have to critically analyse them and place ourselves where we belong.
(i) The Steward who thinks the Master Delays His coming
This steward thinks his master is delaying his coming back. He then beats other servants, eats and drinks and even gets drunk.
These are people who think the world belongs to them. They find themselves in higher positions and possessed with this false belief that they will always be there forever. Instead of using their positions to save souls and work for God, they use it to oppress and maim the people placed under their care.
We can find these people in a country where their leaders do not have value for human lives. They see themselves as lords of heaven and earth. Jesus says the hour always carries them like a flood.
They are also those who think they have millions of years to live in the world. These groups of people have no time to think about their end.
They get over relaxed, and thus over occupy themselves with the pleasure and luxury of life. Jesus says that the hour also takes them by surprise.
(ii) The Steward who knows what the Master wants but does nothing to get Ready for Him.
The second steward knows what His master wants but he does not want to get himself ready for Him. This steward knows much about His master but he lacks the readiness to prepare for Him.
These are the people who know and continually listen to the word of God. They go to Sunday and daily masses and services. They even clap when they hear life-changing homilies but they do nothing.
Their worship of God ends in the church. They come back home and continue from where they stopped. Jesus says that these kinds of people deserve strong strokes of the cane. Hence, punishment awaits them later.
(iii) The Steward who does not Know
The Steward who does not know but acts in a way that also deserves beating will only receive small lashes.
These are people who are ignorant of the gospel. But because they act in a way that deserves beating, they will be punished.
Thus, their punishment will not be severe as the ones who hear and bluntly close their hearts.
(iv) The Wise Steward
The wise steward is wise because He knows he is not the owner of the resources. He knows he is just like a wayfarer.
The wise steward knows that whatever he has is given to him and he must give an account of them one day. Thus, He acts according to the will of the Master. He is always vigilant and alert waiting for the master’s return.
These are the people who live their lives in readiness, knowing that they are nothing before God.
They work hard to remain faithful to God. These are the ones who will surely receive their everlasting rewards at the end.
So, which steward are we? Are we ready for God or not? What shows that we are truly ready?
Whether we are ready or not, one day the master will surely demand an account of all we have done. This hour will take everyone unawares. Only those who are ready can receive eternal reward.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to be ever ready. May He forgive our pasts and bless our future. Amen
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