Vocation Meditation -
September 19, 2010
Then Jesus said to the disciples, 'There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, "What is this that I hear about you? Give me an account of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer." Then the manager said to himself, "What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes." So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he asked the first, "How much do you owe my master?" He answered, "A hundred jugs of olive oil." He said to him, "Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty." Then he asked another, "And how much do you owe?" He replied, "A hundred containers of wheat." He said to him, "Take your bill and make it eighty." And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly.
Everything we do has consequences for our supernatural life.
How we work or play sports, the manner in which we spend our relaxing time, what we say to others, the materials we read and the movies we watch...all matter.
Why? Because we are intimately and intricately united to Christ, having - through our baptism - put on His being (Gal. 3:27), and it should not be possible to go against that nature which God so graciously has shared with us.
In this parable, the dishonest steward was abusing his position and "earning" extra profit for himself by over charging those who dealt with his master. Yet he could not even do that well, for his master heard about how poorly he handled matters and was forced to fire him.
Poor efforts lead to poor results.
But it cannot be that way with God. He will not trust us with the greater responsibilities and the greater gifts (including eternal salvation!) without us working hard with the talents, abilities, and gifts He has already bestowed on us.
In the end, the steward redeems himself with a "shrewd" act, using that intellect God gave him - and which he originally abused in order to become rich. The Lord gives us many chances to make perfect our good gifts!
What are the talents and abilities that God gave me? Do I strive to perfect those "gifts" so that I may honour the nature that Jesus has deigned to share with me?
You spent years in the workshop of your father, perfecting your skills as a carpenter and glorifying God in the process. May I seek to develop my talents and abilities so that - imitating your dedication to your work - I will demonstrate my deep love for you and my desire to enter your heavenly kingdom. Amen.
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.