Father Steven Reilly, LC
podcast version here.
Jesus said to his
disciples: "Be sure of this: if the master of
the house had known the hour when the thief was
coming, he would not have let his house be
broken into. You also must be prepared, for at
an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man
will come." Then Peter said, "Lord, is this parable
meant for us or for everyone?" And the Lord
replied, "Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival
finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, he will
put him in charge of all his property. But
if that servant says to himself, ´My master is
delayed in coming,´ and begins to beat the menservants and
the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant´s master will come on an unexpected
day and at an unknown hour and will punish him
severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master´s will but did
not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was
ignorant of his master´s will but acted in a
way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only
lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted
with much, and still more will be demanded of
the person entrusted with more."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, my
Creator and Redeemer, everything good comes from you. You
are the one source of peace and happiness. Thank
you for bringing me into existence and insuring I received
the inestimable gift of the faith. Thank you
for accompanying me in every moment. I am grateful for
your mercy and love and wish to respond more
generously to you in my life.
Petition: Lord, help me
to be a faithful and prudent steward.
1. Wanted: Faithful
and Prudent Stewards: Anyone who has had a management
position knows that one of the riskiest parts of the
job is hiring. Very often, it can seem like
rolling dice, especially when there is a conflict between
what’s read in the resume and what’s felt in the
gut. Nevertheless, to make a good hire, you need
to have a clear idea of what you want.
The Lord has a simple job description for the stewards
he is looking to bring on. They must be
faithful and prudent. In being faithful, they don’t seek
to impose their own vision or desires over his, but
rather serve the Master who has given them their
commission. Their will is such that they are confident in
assimilating the desires of their master. They are able
to perceive how to adjust and adapt to the
multitude of circumstances that arises. These stewards are constantly
applying the old wristband test, “WWJD,” i.e., What Would Jesus
2. Tasting One’s Own Medicine: Having been “hired” by
the master, it would be foolish not to expect
to be held accountable for the trust that he bestows.
Nevertheless, the irresponsible steward indulges his appetites and abuses
his authority. The master’s “delay” gives him a false
sense of security. Without the natural brake of his
master’s watchful eye, his pride gets out of control. Yet
the master is bound to return, and the servant
eventually experiences the results of his own arrogance: the
taste of his own medicine is bitter indeed. The Lord
is inviting us to have a greater awareness of
his constant presence. His absence and “delay” are only
apparent. He is very much present to those who wish
to live their God-given charge with integrity and responsibility.
His grace is always available to those who live
their lives in his presence.
3. Management Styles: The two types
of stewards have very different management styles. One beats
the servants; the other “distributes the food allowance at the
proper time.” We all want to be counted among
those faithful and prudent stewards who take good care of
those entrusted to us. Yet at times, the responsibility
we have seems more burdensome than desirable. While the
bad steward indulges his passions, the good steward is
in danger of giving into his fatigue and impatience. Frustration
is a distinct possibility when it comes to forming
others. If the Lord died such a cruel death
for our salvation, who can measure the value of a
single soul? By contemplating that example, we need to
learn to put aside our petty annoyances and instead
be faithful in caring for those entrusted to us.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, you
have given me such great responsibility. I am sorry for
the times I have offended you, and for when
I have not lived up to the trust you have
bestowed on me. I promise you that I will
strive to reflect your love for those to whom
you have entrusted to my care.
my patience is tested, I will pause and ask
myself, “How does the Lord want me to handle this