The man we hear about in the gospel is in serious trouble. His life and employment is at stake. Someone has been telling the owner that the steward of his affairs has been doing “dirty business”. The owner will have none of this in his company and so asks for an account of the manager’s affairs. The manager will no longer hold his position. He will lose his job and will be in a rough time. The man is in a crisis. What will he do?

Jesus is pointing out to us in this story the shrewdness of the manager. He knows that his life in the business is about to end. He has thought about his future. Now he seeks to make things right so other employees may welcome him. I will scratch my back if you scratch mine, is a common phrase. This is the “utang na loob”, the favor for favor. He is shrewd, wise, and clever. He perceives and he acts. Too bad, he loses his job. At least he will have some sense of security even if he loses the security of his employment. He goes about reducing debts from fellow men. Whether we was giving away what rightfully owed to the master or if he was reducing overpriced debts, he turns out to be very wise in his dealings.

The point that Jesus is making in this parable is that the people of God should be zealous in the affairs of God. We should act with wisdom. Prudence is a gift of the Holy Spirit, one of the cardinal virtues. We need to be cunning as serpents and wise as doves. Prudence tells us that we should be practical in affairs and cautious in our undertakings. The prudent man looks where he is going (Prov.14.15). To be prudent is to discern the good in a given circumstance and the right means of achieving it (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1806). The above-mentioned Gospel is an example of this. He wants to save his life (good) and takes the effort of reducing the debts (right means). Do we live out in prudence with our dealings with others? Do we consider the future of our well-being? What steps do we take to ensure that our life is in the hands of God

 

Where have you seen prudence at work in your life?

 

Give me the virtue of prudence that I may always do what is pleasing and right in your sight. Amen.