Grace to you!
Our reflections today and tomorrow will focus on stewardship. As always, bible stories are our main reference point.
Yesterday, we shared a story about the incredible mercy of God. We borrowed a phrase – The Hound of Heaven – from the poet, Francis Thompson, to describe the relentless grace of God who searches for the lost souls and saves them. The entire story from the Gospel of Luke 15 shows the unimaginable mercy and grace of God.
The following chapter of the Gospel of Luke (16:1-15) introduces the theme on stewardship. In the first part (Luke 16:1-9), Jesus tells a story of a shrewd steward whom the master praised for his astuteness, though he was a con. Not endorsing his fraudulent activities, Jesus is pointing out to us how we must be committed to maximizing every opportunity of grace for us, and for the kingdom.
Surely, salvation is by grace. Surely, God who is infinitely merciful and gracious reaches out to us. Surely, the grace of God is abundant for all who believe. Yet, Jesus wants to draw our attention to the reality of our commitment.
God’s grace shouldn’t be taken for granted. It must be appreciated through a responsible life of gratitude and hard work – work of charity. God isn’t like a parent who is an enabler, spoon-feeding the child who has come of age, who should be out on the streets working for his or her living.
You don’t want to do for your child, or indeed any one, what they could and should do for themselves, would you? Neither would God, I suppose.
Based on the story told by our Lord Jesus as recorded in Luke 16:1-9, one could deduce how God may likely be looking at our response to his gifts. I would suggest he wants the comparable devotion or commitment we put to our career development, academic, economic and social pursuits. At least, this is how it seems to me.
Stewardship relates to our spiritual life too. We need to work with grace and not work down grace. Walking with grace makes the best of us. If we work with grace, grace becomes more interiorized and personalized.
I am so glad that God has not created us robots, teleguided by a remote control. I am glad to be free and I hope you are too. Aren’t you happy to make choices, be responsible and be able to work hard?
You may have heard one of the famous quotations of Saint Augustine: “God who created you without you cannot save you without you.”
If we put the same level of commitment we put in advancing our career path, making investment decisions, business opportunities, etc., in the things of God, I believe the spiritual fruits will be incredible.
As Jesus hinted, the person who is responsible in little things would be blessed with more (see Matthew 25:21).
I want to be blessed with more, what about you? Praying for this intention for you and for me. Amen.
[By the way, in the Catholic Church, today is the feast day of Saint Charles Borromeo, a great reformer. You may click the above embedded video to watch a contextualized homily I gave few years ago on EWTN concerning his life as related to the Gospel of Luke 16:1-9.]
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.