Gospel of Luke 16:1-8 Reflection:
This is a strange story in the middle of the gospel that can be a little difficult to understand if you don’t take into account the social history of the period.
The steward is denounced as dishonest by someone to his master. The master asked for an account of his work. The steward then appears to be giving unreasonable discounts to the owner’s customers.
This is not actually the way it was. The steward made his money by charging a commission on the articles he sold for his master. This was the nature of his business; he did not receive a wage as we do today, he lived on commission.
What the steward did was take off the commission in order to show the customers that he was a shrewd businessman and that he could make money for them as well. As we say in Ireland, ‘The steward was not so slow!’
Jesus then gives us one of those observations about human life that shows how well he knew human nature. He said that ‘the people of this world are better at dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.’
There are people who are naturally good at business and there are people who prefer the more spiritual things in life. Experience teaches each of us that we are best suited to one place or the other and that we are better staying in those areas of life that we know best.
There are Christians who are good at business, they carry Christian principles over into their work. And there are Christians who are better at reflecting on life and living quietly.
The happy person is the person who finds their niche and stays there.