25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C - 18/9/2022 - Gospel: Luke 16:1-13
Self Worth
Every company, big or small, comprises of an employer or a council of leaders and employee(s). The council takes charge of the whole company to make sure the company runs smoothly. The healthy company works in cohesion at every level, but disarray happens when there is a lack of trust in each other. The final goal of a company is to make a profit, and when a company's profit is not met, the employer must act; today's parable is all about the mistrust between the employer and his manager. A dishonest manager is about to lose his job because he has misused his power. Before his departure, he tries to reconcile with the employees by reducing their debts to their debtor. He does this in the hope that the employees will be friendly to him after he is dismissed from work. The employer commends this dishonest manager for his shrewdness. The employer certainly would disapprove of the manager's wicked behaviour, because if he would, he would not sack him. The manager is wise but his employer is even more brilliant, because he quickly discovers the trick his unjust manager employs to save him after being disgraced. The employer praises the manager not for his dishonesty, but probably for his new realization, which is the recognition of a hidden asset of his employees. This hidden asset is the 'self-worth' of a person.

The manager also knows his ability, that he is incapable of doing the hard labour, and that his future is dismayed. He uses wealth from his boss to make friends. By doing that, he quickly discards his former way of dealing with the employee, adopting the reciprocal relationships of friends, being friends with them, no more their boss.

Jesus calls his disciples to be friends with everyone, which is the wise thing to do. Everyone is valuable to God. Whether rich or poor, each of us is God's gift to the world. The ultimate asset is God's gift hidden in each one of us. Some know their gift and talent early in life; others take time to develop and recognize it. One of the hidden assets is the ability to make friends. We can't be Jesus' disciples if we don't make friends. Jesus calls us His friend, 'You are my friend' Jn 15,14. Do not accumulate wealth, but rather earn friendships. One way of making friends is by distributing wealth to the poor and the needy. You will have many anonymous friends. While getting wealth is vanity because, no one can bring wealth with them. Everything we own is God's gift to us. God has given them for our own use and to serve God's people. We are the manager of the wealth God has given us. We need to use it wisely, which is what Jesus calls us to do. Another hidden asset is distributing temporary world richness for friendship, which changes what is vanity into everlasting value through act of kindness. True charity starts from the heart. Our hearts can transform perishable things of this world into the imperishable reality in God's kingdom.

If wealth is our master on earth, the earthly master can't save us when we leave this world. However, when God is our Master, at the time we leave this earth, our loving God will welcome us into God's kingdom. Our trademark in life is not white colour or blue colour worker. Our true trademark is the warm heart we have for each other. Our network of friendships continues to be with us even after we leave this world.