Posted October 23, 2013 by FLL Editorial Team in
 
 

The Faithful and Prudent Steward

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
Luke 12:39-48

There are then some commandments which befit those who have attained to apostolic dignities, or possess a more than ordinary knowledge, and the higher spiritual virtues; while others belong to those in an inferior station. And that this is true, and according to my words, we may see from what St. Paul wrote unto certain of his disciples, “I have given you milk to drink, and not meat: for you were not as yet strong enough, nor even yet could you bear it.” (1 Cor 3:2) “For solid food belongs to them that are full grown, who by reason of holiness have the senses of the heart exercised for the discerning of good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:14) For just as very heavy burdens can be carried by persons of a very powerful frame, to which weaker men are unequal, so those of a vigorous mind may justly be expected to fulfill the weightier and more excellent commands among those which become the saints; while such as are simple, and quite easy, and free from all difficulty, suit those who have not yet attained to this spiritual strength. The blessed Peter therefore, considering with himself the force of what Christ had said, rightly asked, which of the two was meant; whether the declaration referred to all believers, or only to them; that is, to those who had been called to the discipleship, and especially honoured by the granting of apostolic powers?

The parable of the steward relates to all the faithful in common, but now hear what suits the Apostles and teachers. For I (St. Theophylact of Ochrid) ask, where will be found the steward that possesses in himself faithfulness and wisdom? for as in the management of goods, whether a man be careless yet faithful to his master, or else wise yet unfaithful, the things of the master perish; so also in the things of God there is need of faithfulness and wisdom. For I (St. Theophylact of Ochrid) have known many servants of God, and faithful men, who because they were unable to manage ecclesiastical affairs, have destroyed not only possessions, but souls, exercising towards sinners indiscreet virtue by extravagant rules of penance or unseasonable indulgence.

參考 References:
Sermon 93, Commentary on Luke (St. Cyril of Alexandria)
Catena Aurea Luke 12 (St. Theophylact of Ochrid)


FLL Editorial Team