Aside

Lk 16:1-8
Read the gospel, it speaks volumes about restitution. As I type this I eavesdrop on a conversation. It is a conversation between some  youthful. You see, I write in a coffee shop. People who have success early in life, who are “set for life”, at least for money. They have status and success. Pillars these people are. They have an attitude. They sit at the top of the tower of Babylon. Serendipity. The gospel talk of those who have a debt to pay.

Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward
who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said,
‘What is this I hear about you?

Those gospel characters are told of their misgivings, of their crimes. The chattering party next to me in this coffee shop have no idea, they are the princess royalty. They owe no debt, at least in their mind. But then comes a downfall. The economy crashes, or their happy relationships fail, or they face amisfortune of health. Even parenthood.  Crippled and hobbled.

Then, suddenly, in an instant, their smugness disappears. They grovel and beg like the rest of us. Youth becomes old, ripened suddenly or instantly. Then we scramble. Then they scramble, and that is precisely what happens in the gospel. Those in “authority” are suddenly humbled and they are required to make restitution. They must pay the piper. They must atone to who is in charge. Humanity and divinity are put in their proper order. People whimper and cry, what a struggle it is to surrender. What a struggle to become children again. The conversation changes, and so does its tone. From arrogant to innocent in the flicker of an eye. Who me, what did I do? Back to being children, obedient to an authority. Of course there are other interpretations. This is merely an impression while reading a gospel and eavesdropping on a conversation, in a coffee shop.

Today is the memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, a reformer during the protestant reformation.

the Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time

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