Great teachers make difficult things simple so that you can understand them right away. But the greatest teachers also give you lessons that you have to sit with and ponder, because the lessons you personally discover sink even more deeply into your soul.
Jesus, the master teacher, does both. In last Sunday’s Gospel, he told us complicated lessons in a simple way in the Parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin and Prodigal Son. But now we get a lesson we have to ponder — the Parable of the Shrewd Steward — for the 25th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C.
You know it is hard to grasp because Jesus has to explain what it means, and he draws several lessons from it, especially a lesson about money and a lesson about our task as disciples.
To grasp what the parable means, let’s start by retelling it in modern terms.
Jesus tells a story about a “steward” who works for a rich master who is engaged in lending money in an agricultural society where his clients pay him in wheat and…