“Stewards of the Lord”, By Matty Lester, Fiat Ventures

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

In the Gospel reading for Sunday, Jesus tells two parables, one about servants and one about stewards. In the parable about the servants, he mentions a reward for the good ones. In the parable about the stewards, he adds a punishment for the bad ones. The bad steward will be assigned a place with the unfaithful.

Those who are unfaithful do not have what faith alone can give: union with the Lord.

A steward is responsible for the well-being of his servants. In the parable, these are the Lord’s servants. Since every human being is the Lord’s servant in one way or another, then every person who has any human beings in his power is a steward of the Lord. If you are the president of a company or if you are a mother of small children, you are one of the Lord’s stewards, because there are human beings who are in your power.

It doesn’t take much to meet this condition for being a steward. If you host a dinner party, then your guests are under your roof, in your control, you can be a steward or the Lord to them.

There are two distinct things that the bad steward is recognized as doing. First, he considers his own needs and desires only, not the needs and desires of those who are in his power. Second, when he deals with those in his power, he treats them unjustly. A mother who watches TV instead of caring for her children or who lets the older child dictate the younger one is a bad steward. A president of a company who assigns raises not to reward merit but to get revenge on his political enemies in the company is a bad steward too. 

The power you have over other people can be a fearsome responsibility. A bad performance will land you side by side with the faithless, outside the table where the Lord has prepared a dinner for the faithful. In what ways can you be a steward of the Lord? Who is under your care?

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