“For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.” (Luke 16:8)
As Christians, we are all called to be children of light and not children of the world. The opening of John’s Gospel tells us that “the true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world” (John 1:9). Christ has come into the world and through our participation in His life, we are filled and brought into communion with Him and with others on our pilgrimage to heaven, our true home.
How often do we hear from ourselves or others, “I don’t have time for God” because we’re just “too busy” or “have a lot going on?” Would we change if we found that our death was imminent and we had to give an accounting of our life to God?
In this week’s parable, Jesus depicts a dishonest steward and tells his disciples that they, us, the children of light, are not as prudent or shrewd as the children of men. In his final act as manager, the steward being fired forgives the debt of his master’s debtors so that he may be welcomed into their homes as a sort of repayment. He acts quickly to save his earthly self and this is what the master commends, not his dishonesty.
In the same way, we must be shrewd and prudent with our time, our money, and our gifts to secure our heavenly dwelling. Having eternity in mind, we must make the active, quick, and conscious decision to serve God alone by lavishing all that he has given us for others for His glory. At the end of this week’s Gospel passage, Jesus says we “cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). Here, mammon can be replaced by any sort of idol that commands our attitude, time, and attention.
For myself, I know that there have been times when I haven’t been involved in my community, when my prayer life has been nearly nonexistent and sluggish, and when I let my sin get in the way of my relationship with God. Our call to holiness is a battle. It is not easy, and our resolve must be constantly renewed.
Let us be enlightened by Christ, our Light, so that by not squandering what God has given us, we too may be welcomed into heaven upon our departure from this life.