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Sunday after of the ninth week after Pentecost

The unjust steward and the day of reckoning

From book "Meditations of Saint Alphonsus of Liguori for every day of the year"... Redde rationem villicationis tuae; iam enim non po...

Image for Meditations for every day of the year
Meditations for every day of the year

Saint Alphonsus

Redde rationem villicationis tuae; iam enim non poteris villicare
Give an account of thy stewardship: for now thou canst be steward no longer
Lc. 16, 2

Summary Of all the goods that we have received from God, we are not owners, but simply stewards; and at the hour of death we will have to give an exact account to Jesus Christ, the inexorable judge. This is what the parable proposed in today's Gospel teaches us. Let us then examine what use we have made of the talents and of the good graces we received, and if we feel that we have been wanting, let us resolve amend ourselves as soon as possible. Who knows, my brother, in what short time we will also be told: Redde rationem – “Give an account”?

I. The goods we have received from God, we are not owners in a way we can dispose them at our leisure, but only stewards. We must therefore employ them according to God's will, and give an account of them to Jesus Christ, the inexorable judge, at the hour of death.

“There was a certain rich man” says Jesus, “who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him, that he had wasted his goods. And he called him and said to him: How is it that I hear this of thee? Give an account of thy stewardship: for now thou canst be steward no longer.”

Stop here for a moment and consider the rigor of divine judgment. The saints, though they had made the best possible use of the talents entrusted to them and had made them bear fruit, some two for one, another five, another ten (Lc. 19, 16); though they had spent all the time of their lives in preparing the account book, yet when they were about to pass from this life to eternity, they thought they had done nothing and trembled.

This was how Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi trembled, who replied to her encouraging confessor "Ah Father, it is a terrible thing to have to appear before the court of Jesus Christ!". Saint Agathon trembled after having spent so many years in the desert doing penance and said to those around his bed: "What will become of me when I'm judged?". The Venerable Luiz da Ponte was trembling, trembling so much that made the room where he was standing trembling as well. - And you, my brother, what do you say? What are you doing? If at this moment the Lord let you die and summoned you to his court, what would you answer to the terrible: Redde rationem – “Give an account”?

Part 2 The parable continues by saying that the unfaithful steward, seeing the great risk he ran of falling into extreme misery, immediately thought of repairing the wrong done. And since the expedient he used was all to his advantage, to the detriment of the owner, the owner, however, praised him for having acted with prudence. – We must also use the same promptness, if we do not want to deserve the rebuke that "for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light".

That is why the Holy Spirit exhorts us: Quodcumque facere potest manus tua, instanter operare (Ees. 9, 10) – “Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly”. Do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today; because the day of "today" passes and tomorrow, perhaps, will come death, that will make it impossible for you to do any good and to remedy any evil. In one word, it is necessary that you prepare the accounts, before the day of accounts comes. – In the meantime, concludes the Gospel, if you can give alms, with Mammon of iniquity (iniquitous riches) make the poor your friend; so that when you need it, they may obtain from God the grace of a good death, and thus receive you into eternal tabernacles.

My dearest Jesus, I thank You for the lights and for the time You now grant me to repair the disorders of my past life. Damned be me! because the goods of my soul and my body, which You gave me in order that I might use them to love You, and achieve my eternal salvation, I abused to insult You and plunge myself into hell. Lord, I hate my ingratitude more than all other evils; I ask Your forgiveness and I promise that I will no longer offend You. No, my Jesus, I no longer want to offend You, I want to love You always with all my strength. – “But you, O Lord, grant me, by your mercy, that my spirit will always think what is right and do what is right: that, since I cannot stand without You, I may always live according to Your will .” (1) – Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.


  1. "Or. Dom. Curr." Probably quoting the Divine Office.

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