Rom 15:14-21; Ps 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4; Lk 16:1-8
Knowledge of the LORD and his ways are deep and hidden in the hearts of many in our world that seek the good of others. Indeed in the history of his chosen people the LORD has revealed himself in wondrous deeds, and his right hand has won victories for them. Again and again, his holy arm has triumphed. In the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice by remembering his kindness and faithfulness toward the house of Israel. For those who had eyes of faith could behold the salvation of God in the lives of the poor and powerless children of Israel. Such saving power is startling to the ends of the earth. Such faithfulness to the covenant summons all the nations to hope in the saving power of the LORD. Such wondrous deeds call forth a new song of praise among all the nations. Saint Paul in his letter to the Christians in Rome speaks of a goodness and knowledge that enables them to call forth virtue and a new song of praise among the peoples of every land and nation. The Lord Jesus reveals that the wisdom of the dishonest steward is a challenge for the Children of Light. All of us must learn about the bright wisdom still hidden within our hearts. Learn to share that wisdom for the good of the whole church and for all who are still to join us in the praise of The LORD Our God.
The greatest joy of The Apostle’s heart is to see the signs and wonders of conversion in the lives of those among whom he preached the gospel. With eyes of faith Saint Paul is convinced that his brothers and sisters in Rome hare full of goodness and all knowledge. With eyes filled with tears of joy this Apostle boldly challenges his children to admonish one another. Only when the members of the Body of Christ in Rome have grown to maturity in Christ will they become an acceptable offering to the Father, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and given by the priestly service of Saint Paul. This is the Apostles only true joy—this is his only boast in life. He speaks of nothing else except what Christ has accomplished through him to lead the nations to the obedience of faith. Indeed from Jerusalem to Illyricum this Apostle of Christ has preached the Gospel of Christ. Indeed, he did all of this without building on another’s foundation so that those who have never been told of Christ could hear of his salvation and behold his signs and wonders. How does such apostolic zeal define our lives? Does it even influence our praise and service?
Without a firm grasp of the final verse in this account by Saint Luke, it can be all too easily misunderstood. The dishonest steward seems to know how to win friends and influence people. Once his Master has dismissed him, the steward does not want to do manual labor for the rest of his days. This dishonest steward is no dummy. He quickly restructures the payment of his master’s debtors. This adjustment enables him to make friends with money and retain them once he is made redundant. This is the behavior that the Lord Jesus wants us to display before all the nations, so that they might know that the LORD is God and there is no other. As children of the Light we must daily struggle to live the commands, and grow in wisdom, not of this world. Indeed, this struggle is worth every effort.