November 6, 2015
Lk 16: 1-8
Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering his property. So he summoned him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give me an accounting of your management, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’ Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do, now that my master is taking the position away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do so that, when I am dismissed as manager, people may welcome me into their homes.’
So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He answered, ‘A hundred jugs of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it fifty.’ Then he asked another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘A hundred containers of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’ And his master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
Without skipping a beat, there is an unwritten socially accepted process of keeping score. Even if not written or officially legislated, it would be hard to argue that we do not keep score when modern daily evidence points to a powerful secular standard that seeps unnoticed into the fabric of our lives. For example, imagine for a moment a car with a Lexus nameplate. Most assuredly the nameplate is not just a way of establishing the identity of one car from another. Rather society imperceptibly teaches us that the Lexus name plate is synonymous with a higher social status, a higher sense of worth. All too well we learn this subtle indoctrination.
Substitute other “nameplates” such as a Ph.D degree, a corporate title such as CEO, a brand of Scotch, an elected office, or a privileged residential address and we get the same subtle outcome. Even if I cannot claim some recognizable public prestige for myself, they at least seem bearable as long as my ego tells me that I am “better than others,” even if just “better” one other person, even if this status exists only in my own mind..
—Jack Goldberg is a retired trial attorney. He and his wife Barbara live in Cincinnati. Jack is the moderator of the Moot Court competition team at St. Xavier High School, Cincinnati OH, and an alumnus of St. X.
Lord, save me from myself and from my personal warped “nameplates.” Rather, Lord, save deep in my soul the image of the true servant. Save for me the lessons you taught years ago in the Beatitudes to your first disciples.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!