THE WEEK OF TRINITY IX – MONDAY

LESSON: 1 TIMOTHY 6:17-19

“The master commended the dishonest steward for his prudence; for the sons of this world are wiser in their own generation than the sons of light.” Luke 16:8

We shall understand the story by which Jesus makes his point in this week’s Gospel (Luke 16:1-9) in its simple meaning, without introducing a large number of subtleties into it, as Jerome has done. It is not always necessary to search out such a pointed meaning; the milk of the story is enough for us.

We do not necessarily have to explain here in what way this steward had wasted his master’s goods, and how it comes to pass that even after this he still succeeds in using up his master’s property for himself treacherously, fraudulently, and falsely.

Christ concludes that the steward acted prudently or astutely. He does not praise him for being good. He actually finds fault with him for having wasted his master’s goods and also for ensuring the continuance of his comfortable existence by treacherously playing fast and loose with his master’s goods. What the master in the story commends is that this man did not forget his self-interest in a critical situation; he commends the steward’s craftiness. It is like saying of a harlot who has the whole world at her feet, “She is a clever harlot.”

From all this, Christ draws the conclusion: just as this steward displays outstanding craftiness in matters concerning his earthly welfare, we also should be deeply concerned about our eternal welfare and eternal life.

SL 11:1448 (5)

PRAYER: Lord God, heavenly Father, the treasures and riches of heaven and its glories far outweigh the most desirable riches and treasures that our earthly life affords. Grant us a zeal and concern for our spiritual welfare that is at least the equal of the craftiness and shrewdness whereby men sell their souls for earthly happiness. We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 4:291-301.