I am bombarded on a daily basis, as I suppose you are, with requests to sign this petition, to call my congressional representative or to stop shopping here or there in retaliation for something "wrong" another person or company has done.
In today’s scripture we read about a steward – someone who is charged with taking care of another’s property to answer for what he has been up to. He doesn’t fare too well-I suspect about as well as I would, were I asked the same question today. I love his thinking when he realizes he’s not done well and is about to lose his position: "What shall I do now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg." (LK 16: 3)
A friend of mine who once had a prominent position in the advertising world, today is driving a limousine albeit for a prestigious livery company, one that most of us will never hear of or have reason to hire. He tells stories of his passengers, many very successful in the eyes of the world. He often meets these people at O’Hare Airport and drives them to the back doors of prestigious venues in Chicago like the Standard Club or the Union League Club. He seems to have adjusted well to his "demotion".
Now my friend could be resentful and full of anger against his situation. He isn’t, or at least I’ve never heard him bicker against the system or his life. He seems to have accepted the times and answered for himself, the question presented by the steward in our reading today.
I wonder what would happen if I spent as much time examining my own behavior rather than following the advice I receive about condemning this person or stopping that one? I think I’ll spend more time in my daily examination of conscience and less time opening revengeful emails.
Dan O’Donnell is a Passionist Partner and a longtime friend of the Passionists. He lives in Chicago.