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lk 16:9
Question from thelma sison on 11/22/2012:

why Jesus said to his disciples to make friends with dishonest wealth,so that when it fails,you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. why is dishonest lead to eternal dwellings?

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 11/27/2012:

This is one of those parables that is problematic, in some respects:

1 And he said also to his disciples: There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him, that he had wasted his goods.

2 And he called him, and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship: for now thou canst be steward no longer.

3 And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able: to beg I am ashamed.

4 I know what I will do, that when I shall be put out pf the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

5 Therefore, calling together every one of his lord's debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord?

6 But he said: A hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take thy bill: and sit down quickly, and write fifty.

7 Then he said to another: And how much dost thou owe? Who said: A hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take thy bill and write eighty.

8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.

9 And I say to you: Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of iniquity, that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.

First, we must acknowledge that God never approves of evil, even to achieve a good end. So there is no commendation of dishonesty intended in this parable. The warning of the master that time for reckoning and dismissal is symbolic of death, at which time each of us must render an account to God for our lives. Fearing this, the steward has a "conversion" of sorts and gives thought to life after his service--life after death. He did not want to dig ditches, which can be symbolically understood as life in hell, which is ditch digging without end, if you get my drift. So he gave thought to making better use of wealth available to him, not for self but for others, who become advocates for him later--potentially. So, too, when we use our wealth for the poor and needy, we are building up a pool of friends whose prayers--especially once saints of Heaven--can assist us. If all this is true even for purely human matters, as in the parable, how much more for the spiritual realm!

Thanks, Thelma

Father Echert


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