Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’ The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’ He called in his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’ Then to another the steward said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ The steward said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’ And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.
“For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another, who will give you what is yours? No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon.” [Luke 16:1-13]
Jesus is making parables. What is a parable? Parable is a story that tells a special lesson or truth.
In this instance, Jesus wants to capture his audience that in order to inherit the Kingdom of God one must be honest of himself or herself in dealing with others. Especially in dealing with family, friends, business partners, co-workers, etc.
People have given the highest office of power, and that power can be utilized for the good of others. Jesus uses the word “trustworthy” which means deserving of trust; reliable.
If we ponder this parable, it is very clear that ethics are the key to be in paradise with him. In the business world, ethics mean the principle of right from wrong. If people dealt with honesty, then we may not see corruption in our society. However, corruption is the trend of today's livelihood. People are comfortable in doing it.
If we uphold the poor and see how we can help them, perhaps, we may be able to see differently.
The greed of this society is hampering the less fortunate of our brothers and sisters instead of allocating money to help and create jobs to support their need? This is not happening instead we hear words in contemplating pep talk to feel good while people are hungry.
God has given us wealth not for ourselves alone. There must be a purpose why some people have so much. However, because of greed we do not want to share what we have to alleviate poverty?
Remember, not everyone has given the gift of wealth, the gift of understanding, the gift of sharing, the gift of loving. It is in our conscience how to use the things that God has given us and utilize them in such a way the stewardship of that gift can be used for the common good.
We are not helping to expect something in return? So many people suffer because of poverty. In the time of Jesus, these are the people who are near to his heart. He knows how they are being suppressed by the rich.
In that last parable of Jesus, he said we cannot serve both God and money.
What zeal people put into their earthly affairs: dreaming of honors, striving for riches, bent on sensuality. Men and women, rich and poor, old and middle-aged and young and even children: all of them alike. If people would put the same zeal into the affairs of souls, we will have a strong faith. And there will no obstacle that we cannot overcome in our apostolic works.
“All bow down before wealth. Wealth is that to which the multitude of men pay an instinctive homage. They measure respectability. It is a homage resulting from a profound faith. Wealth is one idol of the day and notoriety is a second. Notoriety, or the making of a noise in the world – it may be called ‘newspaper fame’ – has come to be considered a great good in itself, and a ground of veneration” (John Henry Newman, as quoted in Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1723).