Posted tagged ‘unjust steward’

As We Forgive?

November 7, 2003

The gospel this morning (Luke 16:1-8) was the one about the shrewd steward who reduced the debts of his master’s debtors, one that I’ve long puzzled over. Father’s homily gave me a new perspective. He emphasized the steward’s generosity, conniving as it was, in decreasing those debts, especially since the part of the debt that he forgave was probably what was due to him–his commission on the loan. Father assumed that the master let the steward keep his job. While Scripture doesn’t exactly say that (it just says his master gave him credit for being enterprising), if that were true it would parallel that version of the Our Father that says “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” That sort of jumped out at me today. As the steward forgave the debts owed to him, his master forgave him the debt he owed.

That also puts that line of the Our Father in a new light. Even as we look askance at the steward for giving up his commission only because he wanted to save his skin, so we might look askance at ourselves for only forgiving in order to be forgiven in return. It’s enough of a step in the right direction for God to accept it, but we could do a whole lot better!

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