Friday, November 6, 2015

Never Too Late to Start Thinking Straight

The Gospel from today's Mass got me thinking:
"Jesus said to his disciples, ‘There was a rich man and he had a steward denounced to him for being wasteful with his property. He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.” Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed. Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”
  Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?” “One hundred measures of oil” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down straight away and write fifty.” To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat” was the reply. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty.”
  ‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.’" (Luke 16:1-8)

Who or what is the authority which can call us to order? How do you get a wasteful or slacking steward to recognize the error of his ways? The slacker is classified by Jesus as dishonest, because, caught and called to account, he stole from his master to assure himself a future outside his master's service. He is a child of this world; he knows his own kind and how to get ahead for today. Jesus would have the children of light, those who profess faith in Him and seek His paths, show themselves as clever in seeking Him.

Maybe it is indeed astuteness which is lacking among Catholics today and hence the dumb and stubborn refusal of many who claim to be Catholic on their own terms to recognize the threat of judgment hanging over them, over those who run roughshod over the Church. But we know these are not the children of light; they have not chosen the narrow way, but the wide track which leads to perdition. Maybe an appeal to authority to try and call them back is out of place; maybe it is more a question of encouraging those who firmly desire to be children of the light, children of God, true followers, committed Catholics. In effect, Jesus with His parable is calling the "good guys" to be more astute in promoting the faith, in striving for holiness, of binding the Church together in love.

If we were more astute, we might walk away from certain lost causes, shaking the dust from our feet and quickening our steps along Christ's path, tried and true, since apostolic times.

As tempted as I am to point fingers, I think the better choice is to urge myself along, first of all, and then all who are well disposed to seek Christ's Kingship over them within the Catholic Tradition as practiced always and everywhere, to render an account of our stewardship and throw ourselves upon the mercy of the Just Judge. Let us be drawn and hasten after Jesus in the fragrance of His garments!

Stubborn insistence upon bad choices cannot save.


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