In our ordinary daily parlance we speak and hear a lot about equality, democracy, fair play, justice, transparency, welfare, honesty, commitment, etc., etc. We try to stand for these in our daily life. In the hourly broadcast and daily print media, in political and social groupings and discussions, etc., we hear about these and many such things happening or not happening in our
world. However, on a close examination, do we find any of these in its entirety anywhere in the world?
Those discerning among us may conclude that all these conversations and debates are loaded and tilted to one side, to the advantage of one group and to the disadvantage of the other, that is, an open agenda and a hidden one. In the gospel today the master seems to be complimenting this kind of ‘prudence’ connived at by the dishonest steward. How comforting are the words of Jesus who says, ‘make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth’ in order to get an easy ticket to eternal homes? Our honest feeling is that we do not have any dishonest wealth. Really?
If at all we agree that we are wealthy or better say, well off, it is worth reflecting how we came to be so; the ways we walked and our ancestors walked us to this level. Were all of them conforming to all the concepts above with which we started this discussion? When we and our business, political and social leaders enter into negotiations with the counterparts in the country and abroad, what or how do they negotiate? Everyone tries to turn the tide to one’s, that is, to our advantage, which could also mean ‘to their disadvantage’?
A probable consequence is that when one becomes wealthy it is likely that someone else becomes poor and in that case the wealth we possess might be a dishonest one and most of our discussions and debates above result in just the opposite of the fair play we profess. This might be the logic Jesus employs when he says that no one can serve two masters, that is, God and wealth. Jesus may not be meaning to turn our world upside down. He wants us to reflect and be judicious in managing our wealth and welfare; in our faith practices we must count every human as truly our brother or sister and we all as children of the same Father, irrespective of our color, race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, and so on! Good to have a look at what Amos tells us today! (Amos 8: 4-7)