November 4, 2022 – Friday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/110422.cfm)
The master in today’s parable praised his dishonest steward, whom he trusted to manage his material resources. However, the steward was not praised for his dishonesty, of course not, but for “acting prudently.” This steward after hearing that he will be fired, secured his future by dropping out his corrupt practices. Well, not for the benefit of those who owed his paster but for his own benefit. Indeed, it is “prudence” and the “right attitude” at the present moment that Jesus calls us today.
“Prudence” as defined by Meriam-Webster Online Dictionary, is a skill and good judgment in the use of resources or the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason. So, by being prudent, we don’t do things, decide or act out of our impulses and mere capriciousness, or compulsions or feelings but in having a good judgment by using our reason or mind.
Thus, prudence allows us to be “discerning,” that is, to see and recognize what is God’s and what is not God’s desire.
“Right attitude of the present” is our way of life. This creates positive impacts in the lives of others. Right attitude is neither manipulative nor deceiving nor oppressive. Rather, it has something to do with gratitude and contentment. Therefore, by being grateful and contented of what we have and don’t have, make our heart generous, fair and honest unlike the dishonest steward. He may be prudent but lacking in right attitude.
This is what Paul also reminds us in his letter to the Philippians. Paul strongly exhorted the community of the attitude of those who turned corrupt, oppressive and deceptive of others. In his words, he said, “Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their ‘shame.’ Their minds are occupied with earthly things.”
This is a sign that these people were acting out of impulse and selfish desires as long as they feel satisfied. Yet, their end is destruction, not freedom, not contentment, not life. Certainly, such way of life does not lead to freedom and peace. This attitude also affects others negatively because such desire when translated into action can become vicious, oppressive and corrupt. This causes suffering to others.
Thus, as children of the light, the Lord has two invitations for us today. First, to be prudent in our decisions and actions, so be discerning. Second, to learn the right attitude in our dealings with people and in using our material resources. May our thoughts and actions and very person inspire others to be truly generous, fair and honest. Kabay pa.