So, as people follow him on this journey, Jesus takes the opportunity to explain to them what it means to be a disciple of his. Thus we can say that Jesus’ words are addressed to us also, not only to those who were walking with him two thousand years ago. We, too, have sensed something in Jesus which we would not find anywhere else. During these last few weeks Jesus has been helping us to put our priorities right, to make conscious choices in life, to go for that which is truly important, truly good, truly valuable.
Today is no exception. Although the parable of Jesus in today’s gospel might seem difficult or strange, there is a clear message in it. Again, Jesus is asking us to choose. This time my choice is going to be whom to serve in my life: God or worldly wealth. Mind you, it’s important to keep in mind before we go on that Jesus is not saying that worldly wealth, riches and money are bad. He is simply telling us not to let them become our “master” in life. All these things are good, often they are God-given gifts, but I cannot allow them to control my life.
If seen within this context of Jesus’ teachings, the parable of today starts making sense. First of all Jesus is careful to remind us that we are “administrators” not owners of all that we have. The one and only master and owner of all is God. He gives us what we have, so that we can make good use of it. In one of his letters Saint Paul reminds us, “what have you got that you did not receive?”
The administrator in our story of today did not act as a good administrator. We do not know what he did, but for some reason he was going to find himself without a job. And in that moment of crisis something clicked. Rather than money or riches, what he is going to need in life is friends. He sacrifices from what he has—probably from the commission he would have had from the business he was doing for his master—to start creating relationships. And Jesus praises this man for his shrewdness. Rather than being mastered by his money, he has now become the master. He is using the money he was making for something better: human relationships.
As we continue on our journey as disciples of Jesus, it’s good to ask ourselves a couple of questions today. First of all, who or what is my master. On what criteria do I base my decisions in life? Then, how do I use what God has given me? Do I use it for the good of others, to help grow and strengthen relationships?