It seems odd that a man would commend someone for giving away what was not that his to give away. Indeed, the property in question belongs to the man doing the commending. I can’t imagine that I would be really happy with someone who was giving away my stuff, especially after I had already caught him being dishonest. But here, in this Gospel reading, that is exactly what the master does. The dishonest servant seeks to save himself by ingratiating himself with others who owe his master. The key to this conundrum may lie in the last lines of the Gospel. “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than the children of light.” Only another thief would appreciate what the dishonest servant did. They share in common their dishonesty. We can find ourselves caught up in those dealings, in the worries of the world, in things that, at the end of the day do not matter. If we build our lives around stuff, if we build our lives around trivia, we find ourselves in the end standing in the dark. If we move to the light, if we begin to live as children of light, we begin to see, to see the things that are really important, and to recognize the things that are not.
Memorial of St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church
Nov. 10, 2006