Today, Anne O’Brien, Director of Mission, reads from Luke’s Gospel (16: 1-8) in which Jesus tells the parable of the shrewd steward.
Anne says, the steward in today’s Gospel realised that, through his own fault, he was about to be sacked. His options weren’t great – digging or begging. He called everyone who owed his employer money and reduced their debt. Of course, his boss would lose out, but the steward would look good and might find support in his time of unemployment but the steward may have overlooked one important detail. If the creditors were willing to cheat his employer, could he rely on them at a later date when his own cashflow became seriously strained?
All of our actions have consequences and for those of us who are parents, it is something we try really hard to teach our children as they grow towards adulthood. Children need to learn, as they become more responsible for their own behaviour, that actions have consequences.
The message in our Gospel today is a reminder to us, as adults, of the need to consider the consequences of our actions. As adults, we need to refresh our understanding of this responsibility from time to time. This Gospel is a reminder to do just that.
Anne says, we could relate this message to friendship as well. Real friendship is something deep, precious and involves loyalty, self-sacrifice, love, honesty and trust. Hopefully, we’ve all experienced what it means to have a friend and to be a friend.
Anne leaves us with that thought and concludes with this prayer:
Loving Lord, teach me the meaning of true friendship. May I always treasure the friends you have placed on my path. Bless them always. Amen.