Gospel Reflection - God’s Apprentice
Today’s is a strange and difficult parable. A dishonest business man is caught squandering and is faced with dismissal. The business man sees a bleak future ahead of him and without a minute to waste sets about making some shrewd though dodgy deals to secure his future. We sit back waiting for his come-uppance but it doesn’t happen! In fact the business man is applauded for his shrewdness.
This rogue business man shares much in common with our twenty first century business men and women. The rogue business man is talented, skilled ambitious and plausible or he wouldn’t have been taken on as a manager in the first place. The manager has the ability to look into the future, decide what he wants from life and make the necessary plans. More importantly he works as though his life depends upon it without a moment to waste. This man could’ve achieved great things but for one thing. Money! Money has the power to corrupt each and every one of us and the man in today’s story was well and truly corrupt. Nevertheless Jesus tells us that the ‘children of the light’ can learn from the ‘children of the world’. What if we could get up at six every morning, knock back a quick cup of coffee and set about God’s work. What if we were to work tirelessly solving the world’s problems barely stopping for lunch and getting home late every night. What if we were to use our skills and talents to persuade others to invest in our cause? What if we were to work with one eye on our ultimate destination keen to secure our place in heaven? The world would certainly be a very different place. To achieve it we would each need to make God our master and not money.
The real difficulty in this story is not in understanding Jesus’ unexpected choice of subject, but in adhering to his mandate. “No slave can serve two masters.... You cannot serve God and wealth.”