25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C - 18/9/2016 - Gospel: Lk 16, 10-13
Self Assessment
Self assessment is a method of knowing oneself by examining our work performance to find out one's own strengths and weaknesses. When there are more satisfactions and achievements, that person would enjoy life more and has more confidence in doing the business. When disappointments and failures are evident, that person will re-evaluate the methods of doing business and try to find where things went wrong for the possible solutions to fix the problems.

The steward in today's reading went through the self assessment process. He began the process because he had learnt that he had mistrusted his master and the result was very clear. He would no longer have his stewardship. In order to see a clearer picture the steward went through his book keepings getting information that would help him to identify his strengths and weaknesses. He knew that one of his strengths was negotiation but it was too late for him to negotiate to the master because the master had already made up his mind to sack him. The steward then changed his approached. Instead of negotiating to the master he went on to negotiate with the debtors of his master. He knew that the news of his being dismissed was not publicly announced and that he still had sufficient time to negotiate with the debtors and that he would make them feel as if he was in their favour and benefactor- reducing the debts. The debtors knew nothing of his hidden agenda that after being dismissed that they welcome him to their home. Doing something in the hope of being paid back is not the way of the Gospel: when you have a party invite the poor.... they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again Luke 14,14.

The master had no control of his book keepings but the steward was free to change the figures at his own will. The steward may have destroyed his master's good reputation by making the master look like as if he was a loan shark creditor. We don't know the practice of the time, the master, the steward or the debtors who would be official writing on the bond certificate? There was no explanation why the steward didn't write on the bond certificates but instead he asked each debtor to write the figure on the bond certificate for their own. Because the bond certificate was not written by the steward or by the master himself, if there was any dispute about the correctness of these figures then the problem would become quite complicated because it would be quite hard to reconcile from the bond and the original records.
Whatever the steward did, honesty and fairness were not his first priority. His first priority was not for his master or the care for the poor, but for his own gain. Even when he was desperate to secure his future the steward was finding ways that would save him from trouble. Apart from securing for his earthly future the steward had no concern for his spiritual body. The Bible made clear that children of this world would have their concern for the material world and whatever they do would serve one purpose- personal gain.