A sermon on Luke 16:1-13

By Fr. Mike Paraniuk
St. Mary’s Catholic Church (Hillsboro,
Saint-Bénigne Catholic Church (Greenfield),
Holy Trinity Catholic Church (West Union) and
St. Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church (Peebles)

There are two Bible verses in this story of the dishonest steward that seem to praise Jesus, stealing, dishonesty, and cheating. They can be found in Luke 16:6-8. “And the master praised this dishonest steward for acting with caution. For the children of this world are more careful of their own generation than are the children of the light. I tell you, make friends with dishonest riches, so that when they fail you may be welcomed into eternal mansions.

Is Jesus telling you to act like the dishonest steward? No way.

When Jesus uses the term “wealth”, he means more than money. For Jesus, wealth means everything in this world that gives you a sense of security and a prosperous future – lots of money, a good appearance, several 120 horsepower tractors, a big house and – Bengals!

This wealth is dishonest because it provides false security that will not last. Money is spent, beauty fades, tractors break down, big houses are constantly being repaired, and the Bengals can’t even score a touchdown six inches from the end zone.

What does Jesus mean when he says “make friends” with this wealth you will miss? He means that the “children of light” should use the things of this world as a tool to obtain eternal life. Jesus wants you to use the gifts God gives you to do the most good for others. Investing in people’s lives, not the stock market, will get you to heaven. Use your wealth which is called “your time, your treasure and your talent” to take care of others. Then God will reward you for the good you have done.

I met a man who won the Ohio lottery. After taxes, he got over $100 million. He was so happy. “I can do anything I want.” He traveled the world. He ate in the best restaurants. He said: “I would charter a jet, have lunch in New York and have dinner in Paris.” He bought many winter and summer houses. He could gamble $50,000 in Vegas without thinking about it. Just a fun night on the town.

After a few years of high life, he began to feel weak. “I fell into a deep depression. All travel, shopping and eating out have become so boring. I spent tons of money on psychiatrists, but nothing helped.

One day he decided to see a priest for guidance. It changed his life forever. The priest said, “You don’t have a wife. No children. No love. You only live for yourself. Your problem is spiritual. Try to do something good for someone else. Putting a smile on their face is the medicine you need.

The priest was right. The man decided to use the millions he had left to help others. He created a charitable foundation. He received letters from people in need. He would personally introduce them to what they needed for a better life. He said: “I donated houses, clothes, cars and school fees. Making someone happy brought joy back to my soul.

I met this man in the hospital. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The doctors only gave him a few months to live. Yet he had such a peaceful and serene look around him. He said to me, “Father, helping others has been the best investment I have ever made. I have a bright future. »

He then said, “Father, is there anything you need before I go?” I was strongly tempted to ask for a Land Rover with a fridge in the back seat.

I replied, “All I need is here.” I pointed to the Holy Communion in my hand. We prayed. He received Jesus. Turning to leave, he made a final comment: “I’ll say a good word to you.”

I said, “Ask Jesus if I could ever drive a Land Rover.” I laughed and left.

Thirty years later, I met a parishioner from St. Mary’s in Hillsboro who owned a big Land Rover with a refrigerator in the back seat. He offered me to try it. This car cost $175,000. There were so many bells and whistles I was afraid to drive the thing.

God is wise not to give me what I want, but only what I need.