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Gospel Meditation

Compartmentalization or consistency? In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells a strange story of a sneaky, savvy steward that raises questions about our personal virtue. “How much do you owe? Here is your promissory note, write one for eighty.” This parable isn’t advice for money management. Historically, there were many positions that acted on behalf of their masters regarding money, like customs agents, household stewards, and tax collectors. Often these workers over-charged and skimmed off the top.
Usurious practices like this were not in line with the traditional Jewish understanding of money lending, which strictly forbade them from taking interest or making a profit off of their own people. As the steward reduced the debt, he was likely writing out the amount he originally intended to take for himself. Before the steward can be commended, he needs to right the wrong done.
“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones.” This parable contains an important self-check. We have a great many things we’re responsible for that seem to have nothing to do with the kingdom of God. How do we interact in those spaces? Are we trustworthy in our dealings at work and at home? Are we honest and faithful to our commitments to family and friends? Are we honest with our money and prudent with how we spend our time?
Jesus calls his disciples to consistency. How often do we expect that we can be one person one place, yet shrug off that persona in a new situation? “No servant can serve two masters.” This week, take stock of your life. All of your life. Are you living the Gospel values wherever you go?