The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Haydock Commentary on Luke 16:1-9 for the Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 17, 2010

Luk 16:1  And he said also to his disciples: There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him, that he had wasted his goods.

Luk 16:1  There was a certain rich man, &c.  By this parable, our Saviour advises his disciples to accompany their penitential works with deeds of mercy to the poor. (Ven. Bede) — There is a certain erroneous opinion, that obtains pretty generally amongst mankind, and which tends to increase crimes, and to lessen good works: and this is, the foolish persuasion that men are not accountable to any one, and that we can dispose as we please of the things in our possession. (St. John Chrysostom) — Whereas we are here informed, that we are only the dispensers of another’s property, viz. God’s. (St. Ambrose) — When, therefore, we employ it not according to the will of our Master, but fritter and squander it away in pleasure, and in the gratification of our passions, we are, beyond all doubt, unjust stewards. (Theophylactus) — And a strict account will be required of what we have thus dissipated, by our common Lord and Master.  If then we are only stewards of that which we possess, let us cast from our minds that mean superciliousness and pride which the outward splendour of riches is so apt to inspire; and let us put on the humility, the modesty of stewards, knowing well that to whom much is given, much will be required.  Abundance of riches makes not a man great, but the dispensing them according to the will and intention of his employer. (Haydock) — The intention of this parable, is to shew what use each one ought to make of the goods which God has committed to his charge.  In the three former parables, addressed to the murmuring Scribes and Pharisees, our Saviour shews with what goodness he seeks the salvation and conversion of a sinner; in this, he teaches how the sinner, when converted, ought to correspond to his vocation, and preserve with great care the inestimable blessing of innocence. (Calmet) — A steward, &c.  The parable puts us in mind, that let men be ever so rich or powerful in this world, God is still their master; they are his servants, and must be accountable to him how they have managed his gifts and favours; that is, all things they have had in this world. (Witham)

Luk 16:2  And he called him and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship: for now thou canst be steward no longer.

Luk 16:2  And he called him, &c. Such are the words which our Lord daily addresses to us.  We daily see persons equally healthy, and likely to live as ourselves, suddenly summoned by death, to give an account of their stewardship.  Happy summons to the faithful servant, who has reason to hope in his faithful administration.  Not so to the unfaithful steward, whose pursuits are earthly: death to him is terrible indeed, and his exit is filled with sorrow.  All thunder-stricken at these words, “now thou canst be steward no longer,” he says within himself, what shall I do! (St. Thomas Aquinas)

Luk 16:3  And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able; to beg I am ashamed.
Luk 16:4  I know what I will do, that when I shall be removed from the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
Luk 16:5  Therefore, calling together every one of his lord’s debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord?
Luk 16:6  But he said: An hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take thy bill and sit down quickly and write fifty.
Luk 16:7  Then he said to another: And how much dost thou owe? Who said: An hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take thy bill and write eighty.
Luk 16:8  And the lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.

Luk 16:8  And the lord commanded, &c.  By this we are given to understand, that if the lord of this unjust steward could commend  him for his worldly prudence, though it were an overt act of injustice; how much more will the Almighty be pleased with those who, obedient to his command, seek to redeem their sins by alms-deeds? (St. Thomas Aquinas) — “Give alms out of thy substance,” says holy Tobias to his son, “and turn not thy face from any poor person: for so it shall come to pass, that the face of the Lord shall not be turned from thee.  According to thy abilities be merciful.  If thou hast much, give abundantly; if thou hast little, take care, even of that little, to bestow willingly a little.  For thus thou storest up to thyself a good reward, for the day of necessity.  For alms deliver from sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul to go into darkness.” (Tobias iv. 7, 8, &c.) (St. Thomas Aquinas) — Children of this world, &c. are more prudent and circumspect as to what regards their temporal concerns, than they who profess themselves servants of God, are about the concerns of eternity. — Commended the unjust steward.[1]  Literally, the steward of iniquity: not for his cheating and injustice, but for his contrivances in favour of himself. — In their generation; i.e. in their concerns of this life.  They apply themselves with greater care and pains, in their temporal affairs, than the children of light, whom God has favoured with the light of faith, do to gain heaven. (Witham)

Luk 16:9  And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity: that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.

Luk 16:9  Make for yourselves friends, &c.  Not that we are authorized to wrong our neighbour, to give to the poor: evil is never to be done, that good may come from it. (St. Thomas Aquinas) — But we are exhorted to make the poor our friends before God, by relieving them with the riches which justly indeed belong to us, but are called the mammon of iniquity, because only the iniquitous man esteems them as riches, on which he sets his affections; whilst the riches of the virtuous are wholly celestial and spiritual. (St. Augustine, de quæst. Evang.) — Of the mammon of iniquity.  Mammon is a Syriac word for riches; and so it might be translated, of the riches of iniquity.  Riches are called unjust, and riches of iniquity, not of themselves, but because they are many times the occasion of unjust dealings, and of all kind of vices. (Witham) — Mammon signifies riches.  They are here called the mammon of iniquity, because oftentimes ill-gotten, ill-bestowed, or an occasion of evil; and at the best are but worldly, and false: and not the true riches of a Christian. — They may receive.  By this we see, that the poor servants of God, whom we have relieved by our alms, may hereafter, by their intercession, bring our souls to heaven. (Challoner) — They may receive you into their eternal tabernacles.  What a beautiful thought this!  What a consolation to the rich man, when the terms of his mortal existence is approaching, to think he shall have as many advocates to plead for his admittance into the eternal mansions of rest, as he has made friends among the poor by relieving their temporal wants.  The rich give to the poor earthly treasures, the latter return in recompense eternal and infinite happiness.  Hence we must infer, that the advantage is all on the side of the giver; according to the saying of our Lord, happier is the condition of him who gives, than of him who receives. (Haydock)

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3 Responses to “Haydock Commentary on Luke 16:1-9 for the Eighth Sunday After Pentecost”

  1. […] Haydock Commentary On Luke 16:1-9. […]

  2. […] Haydock Commentary on Luke 16:1-9 for Sunday Mass, July 18 (Extraordinary Form). […]

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