November 4, 2016 (readings)
- Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop
Jesus said to his disciples, "A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property. He summoned him and said, 'What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.' The steward said to himself, 'What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg. I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.' He called in his master's debtors one by one. To the first he said, 'How much do you owe my master?' He replied, 'One hundred measures of olive oil.' He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.' Then to another he said, 'And you, how much do you owe?' He replied, 'One hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.' And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light."
Introductory Prayer: Jesus Christ, where else can I turn each day but to you? One day, I will make that final turn to you, and it will last for all eternity. Yet as in everything else, you set the pace, you take the initiative, and you are the protagonist. You will turn and look my way first and I, as I strive daily to do, will respond and gaze back into your eyes. This moment of prayer is a rehearsal for that final turn to you.
Petition: Lord, help me to respond better to your love.
1. What Is This? “What is this I hear about you?” Of course, this is just a parable. In actuality, God doesn't need to "hear" anything about us since he is all-knowing. Yet, he may very well say to us, "What is this?" as he looks over the record of our lives and reminds us that we are accountable for all our free actions. Let us take a look, in our prayer now, at the face of this Father who asks, "What is this?" Does it perhaps express concern over a wound in our soul, over something that has marred the beauty of our image as sons and daughters of this Father?
2. A Full Account: Yes, we will have to give that full account. The sacrament of reconciliation, prepared by thoughtful and prayerful examinations of conscience, affords us the opportunities to give that account, piece-by-piece, as a preparation for the final audit. What a grace! Are we taking advantage of it?
3. Squanderer: Could the Good Lord accuse us of being squanderers? This isn't the only place in the Gospels where the word appears. Recall that the Prodigal Son was accused of squandering his father's wealth. Certainly to squander is to misuse, to use unwisely, to waste, or to use extravagantly. What about all the graces that God has given to us: our faith, our Catholic Church, the sacraments, the scriptures, the example of the saints, the rich deposit of Catholic tradition, the means that have been placed in our hands today, the time we have been offered, the talents we have been given? Are we squanderers? How can I respond better to the many gifts Our Lord has given me? How can I better “invest” my talents for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven?
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus Christ, awaken me to your gifts and make me zealous and generous in using them for the good of the brothers and sisters you have put at my side. Through my daily examination of conscience, help me to be a good steward so that one day I may arrive with you and enjoy you in paradise as my eternal reward.
Resolution: I will employ the time of my examination of conscience today to thank God for all the graces and blessings he has bestowed upon me. I will make a careful accounting of what God has placed in my hands.
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