Jesus again assures us of the need for vigilance in today’s Gospel. And once again, He presents us with a parable to underscore the importance of being ready for the Master’s return. Today, however, He goes a little deeper. Jesus emphasizes not just the importance of being awake when the Master returns, but of taking care of what the Master has given us as stewards. A good steward who has been given good things and wonderful people will treat all well—which means treating them as the Master would want, rather than personal preference. The bad steward does as he pleases with things and people.
The parable today raises the question: by what standard do we treat the things and people in our lives? Do we use them as we ourselves would prefer, or do we consider the Master who gave us all this to begin with? Even the most well-intentioned standard, if it is not what the Master would like, is still doing as we please—it is making ourselves into masters, instead of stewards. A common phrase on social media when acknowledging the good in one’s life is to include the tag “blessed.” This phrase gets at an important truth—the good we have in life has been given to us by God. Now we must ask ourselves why God has given us these good things—to what end should we put them, and by whose standard should we use them?