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10 November 2017

This is not a story about cheating your master; this is a story about astuteness.

One definition of astuteness is having an ability to accurately assess humans and circumstances and use this to one’s advantage in the short and/or long duration” (

Jesus praises the dishonest steward, not for his dishonesty, but for his ability to accurately read his circumstances and to make them work for him. In this case, the steward’s interest is in his own survival once he is fired.

But what if his interest was in benefiting his master? In that case, he would be a highly prized steward since he has the ability to accurately assess his environment and use it for his master’s benefit!

I firmly believe that we are not called to be naïve idiots or to be taken advantage of. We are called to astuteness. The difference between us and the steward, however, is that we choose to have the interest of the Kingdom of God first in our hearts. All of our gifts and talents, astuteness included, are for helping to bring God’s reign on earth.

When St Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council he encouraged the whole Church to read the “signs of the times”; in other words, we are to engage with the world around us, astutely assessing the times in which we live. We rejoice in the good and challenge the bad.

What are the circumstances in your life at the moment which could be used for the benefit of the Master?

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