Today’s Bible reading
Jesus also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who was informed of accusations that his manager was wasting his assets. So he called the manager in and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Turn in the account of your administration, because you can no longer be my manager.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What should I do, since my master is taking my position away from me? I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m too ashamed to beg. I know what to do so that when I am put out of management, people will welcome me into their homes.’ So he contacted his master’s debtors one by one. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ The man replied, ‘100 measures of olive oil.’ The manager said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ The second man replied, ‘100 measures of wheat.’ The manager said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write 80.’ The master commended the dishonest manager because he acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their contemporaries than the people of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by how you use worldly wealth, so that when it runs out you will be welcomed into the eternal homes. — Luke 16:1-9
More thoughts for meditation
There are many things people pursue for healing and wholeness — not least is wealth. To acquire wealth is not only practically helpful, as in, it lets us off the hook for creative problem solving, it also is also viewed highly by our peers and society at large. It is tempting for many in our rich country to think, “If we are rich we won’t have problems.” When, in fact, as Biggie Smalls said it best, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems.” But way before reaching the Christopher Wallace’s level of wealth, it can be tempting to think that having wealth will heal us. Ultimately, wealth, and any healing power it possesses is elusive. Chasing wealth is kind of like chasing the wind, the author of Ecclesiastes points out. The person in the Lord’s story above is forced to see, whatever benefit wealth has is easily taken away.
Jesus is comparing what could be a real life example to the invitation he is making for us to follow him. This person who is connected to great wealth discovers how fickle it actually is. He turns to does whatever it takes with the resources at hand to help others and make space for himself in the community. If this person, who is not described as a person seeking after God (and is actually painted as the opposite) can, in the end, make a clever decision—those who are seeking should definitely get it, right?
Suggestions for action
When this manager suddenly faces the loss of his wealth he decides to invest in the relationships around him because, he believes, that is the best chance for him to be taken care of. For us listening, we don’t have to wait until we lose everything to examine where our faith is and what kinds of things we put our trust in. Take a few minutes and reflect silently.
Pray using our breath prayer for this week: Breathe in saying, “Holy Spirit” and breathe out saying, “open my heart to your love.”