Spiritual People Need To Get Smart

The homily at the 8.0 am Eucharist on the Holy Island Island of Lindisfarne was given by eighty-one year old Kate Tristram, still recovering from a replacement knee operation. It was about that untypical parable of Jesus recorded in Luke's Gospel, chapter 16. This tells of a dishonest manager fired by his wealthy boss. Before he departs the manager reduces the bills various people have to pay, so that they will be good to him after he has left. This is the homily:

I feel this parable was told with more than a touch of humour. I like the way Dorothy Sayers put it in her radio play THE MAN BORN TO BE KING. She has the defrauded owner say to the fraudulent steward, when he discovered his little plan 'You are a thorough scoundrel ... but I do admire your thoroughness.' Since Jesus can't be recommending dishonesty, what is he recommending here?

I think the answer is a sort of realism, which he wants his followers to have. The manager saw his opportunity to safeguard his future, and he seized it without delay. But God puts before all of us constant opportunities to do various kinds of good. If we could be as quick to grasp them as the steward was to grasp his, and to turn them to best use for ourselves and others. There is a kind of dreaminess or doziness, a kind of incompetence in everyday life, which in cartoons has been used to characterise Christians. But real life has to be seized and used.

 

Go for it.

 

Posted at 01:29am on 4th November 2011
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