September 18, 2016 — Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Although we may not immediately perceive them, Holy Scripture is filled with references to stewardship and what it means. Today’s Gospel from St. Luke that includes the Parable of the Dishonest Steward is more pointed and direct than many of those references.
Retired Bishop Robert Morneau — who was instrumental in the development of the United States Bishops’ pastoral letter, Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response, and has been a popular presenter on stewardship for decades — is fond of saying that on Judgment Day, the Lord will only ask us one question, “What have you done with the garden I have given you?” In other words, we are all gifted, perhaps in different ways, but whatever gifts we receive might be considered our garden from God. We must account for those gifts.
The whole concept of stewardship is clear in today’s parable. The steward is the manager (not the owner) of the master’s gifts. God is, of course, the manager, and we are the stewards who are charged with the responsibility of overseeing our gifts of time, talent, treasure, and perhaps even influence. Do we use those gifts wisely and with justice?
That is the point we must get from this Gospel. Our Holy Father Pope Francis understood the significance of being a steward when he recently said, “In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts.” As the Lord says to the steward in today’s Gospel, “The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones.”