“Wealth can push to build walls, create divisions and discriminate. Jesus, on the contrary, urged his disciples to change course: ‘Make friends with riches’. This is an invitation to know how to turn goods and riches into relationships, because people are worth more than things and count more than the wealth they possess.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis spoke to 20,000 people present in St Peter’s Square for the Angelus despite the rainy day.
In his address, the pontiff said that we should use the gifts that God has given us to make friends, because "in life those who have many riches do not bear fruit;” instead, this is done by “those who create and maintain many ties, many relationships, many friendships through the different ‘ riches’, that is the different gifts with which God has endowed them.”
"The parable in this Sunday's Gospel (Lk 16: 1-13),” he said, “has as its protagonist a clever and dishonest administrator who, accused of squandering the assets of hi master, is about to be fired. In this difficult situation, he does not recriminate, he does not seek justification or let himself be discouraged, but devises a way out to ensure a peaceful future.
“At first he reacts with lucidity, acknowledging his limits: ‘I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg’ (Lk 16:3); then he acts with cunning, robbing his master for the last time. In fact, he calls the debtors and reduces the debts they have towards the master, to make friends with them and be rewarded by them." For Francis, "making friends through corruption has unfortunately become customary today."
“Jesus presents this example certainly not to exhort people to be dishonest, but to be prudent. In fact, he stresses that ‘the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently’ (Lk 16:8), that is a mixture of intelligence and cunning, which allows one to overcome difficult situations. The key to understand this story lies in Jesus' invitation to ‘make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings’ (Lk 16:9).
"Money is ‘dishonest wealth’, also called the ‘devil's dung’, material goods in general. Wealth can push to build walls, create divisions and discriminate. Jesus, on the contrary, urged his disciples to change course: ‘Make friends with riches’. It is an invitation to know how to transform goods and riches into relationships, because people are worth more than things and count more than the wealth they possess.
"In life, in fact, those who have many riches do not bear fruit;” instead, this is done by “those who create and keep alive many ties, many relationships, many friendships through different ‘riches’, that is, the different gifts with which God has endowed them. But Jesus also indicates the ultimate purpose of his exhortation: ‘Make friends with riches, so that they may welcome you to eternal dwellings.’ To welcome us in Paradise, if we are able to turn riches into tools of fraternity and solidarity, there will not only be God, but also those with whom we have shared, administering well what the Lord has put into our hands.”
"This page of the Gospel reminds us the question of the dishonest administrator, thrown out by the master. ‘What shall I do, now’? (Lk 16:3). Faced with our shortcomings and failures, Jesus assures us that we are always in time to heal with good the evil done. The one who caused tears, may he make someone happy; the one who has embezzled, may he give to those in need.
“In doing so, we will be praised by the Lord ‘because we have acted with cunning’, that is, with the wisdom of one who acknowledges himself as a child of God and meet challenges for the Kingdom of Heaven.
“May the Blessed Virgin help us to be cunning to ensure ourselves not worldly success, but eternal life, so that at the time of the final judgment the needy persons we have helped may testify that we have seen and served the Lord in them."