Homily for 25th Sunday in the Ordinary Time:
? Amos 8:4-7
? 1Tim 2:1-8
? Luke 16:1-13
Homily: CHILDREN OF LIGHT AND CHILDREN OF THE WORLD
The Parable of the dishonest Steward leaves one wondering if Jesus was commending dishonesty or not. Was he? The dishonest steward was commended by his master for his astuteness. Parables are like proverbs, there is always a deeper, richer message conveyed to its hearers beyond the narrative. Like every coded language or proverb, understanding the code of a parable enriches the hearer. When Jesus says in his parables “A king or a father”, it is different from when he says “a rich man”. The former is usually a reference to God while the latter is to men who are vain. In Luke 16:19ff, Jesus has yet another parable about “a rich man” who has the poor Lazarus at his gate. The parable of the dishonest steward ends with a parallel about the children of the world and the children of light. Jesus notes that the children of this world are more astute/shrewd in dealing with their own kind than the children of light. What then was the essence of that parable? The essence of the proverb is to encourage the disciples to be proactive in their faith. Both the master in that parable and the steward are of the world. Note that Jesus says “the children of this world are more astute in dealing with THEIR OWN GENERATION. Many versions of the English Bible translate “generation” while some translate “their own kind”. As earlier noted, understanding the code and essence of the parable is the key, Luke says, “the master praised the dishonest steward”. Pls note: the “master” in that parable is neither God nor Jesus. But Jesus uses them as an example for the children of light. The former are more creative in evil than the latter are proactive in their faith. Jesus says the master of the dishonest steward praised his shrewdness. But Jesus himself does not praise dishonest means. He is rather yearning to praise his own disciples for their astuteness in the faith. Unfortunately, evil men are more dedicated in evil than good men are dedicated to good! The first reading from Prophet Amos bemoans the evil means of the rich who preyed on the poor of the land. The situation that the Prophet found himself could be likened to the situation in Nigeria. The ruling class and the rich keep on preying on the poor masses while the poor are driven into utter perjury. The politicians embezzle common funds mindlessly and also use the tax payers’ money to secure friendship with the high and mighty so that their worldly wealth may never drain. Are they to be praised for such astuteness? This generation may praise them, but the Prophet Amos says “the Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob, never will I forget a thing they have done”. However, the ultimate will of God is that all May be saved. Hence, Paul in his 1st letter to Timothy enjoins all to offer prayers, petitions and supplication for everyone, including Kings and rulers, that God’s ultimate will may be actualized in their salvation. May the words of this gospel bring salvation to us all. Happy Sunday.
– Fr. Precious Ezeh