The Christian philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote “It is not good to have too much liberty. It is not good to have all one wants.” The readings today are a sharp reminder for us of the need to smarten up about how we deal with the allurement of possessions and the false security they offer. Most especially, this Gospel proves that old axiom that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Perhaps that is why we are all sinners: God has dealt us a jackpot of blessings in this life, and the enormity of it sometimes tempts us to squander it just as the prodigal son had done in last week’s gospel, and the steward in today’s.
“All is grace,” says Therese of Lisieux, realizing how abundantly generous God is with us unworthy creatures. All of us have been exceedingly blessed; All of us fall short. And all of us, at some time, will be demanded by God to give an account of our stewardship. If we have not lived a life of generosity and forgiveness, who will know whether we will be able to change at the last minute like the steward. Our best bet is to live now like we want to live at the end!
Christian stewardship embraces a life lived with an awareness that all things have been given to us by God: our “jackpot”! Our response of loving appreciation takes three concrete forms of return to God: time, talents, and treasure. At St. Pius X Parish, this is manifest in commitments to prayer, service, and sacrificial giving. While these three pillars of stewardship are a requirement for every Christian, they take many different forms. For one person, God may desire a great sacrifice of time in prayer; however, probably not for the mother of nine children under the age of 15! Service also takes many forms, depending on the gifts and talents that God has blessed an individual with: for example, a wonderful singer should try to cantor at Mass. And with donations to the Church, responsible stewardship calls for not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice.
When our Lord tells us to “make friends with dishonest wealth,” he is referring to the passing things of this earth which are “as nothing in comparison to the glory that will be revealed in us” in the life to come (Romans 8:18). “Those who are trustworthy In small matters will be trustworthy in greater ones.”
Let us show our Lord in this life that we will be good stewards of his blessings in the next, where the real jackpot is given to us: God Himself, given already in the Eucharist as a foretaste!