Of Laborers, Dishonest Managers and Wicked Tenants

Today was the final session of the Lent Reflection Series I am offering at the University of St. Thomas School of Law on the theme Praying with Jesus’ Parables. In this final session we considered three parables: the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), the Dishonest Manager (Luke 16:1-15) and the Wicked Tenants (Luke 20:9-19).

As I have in earlier sessions of this series, I shared some possible ways of thinking about each of the three parables with the participants.

The most difficult of the three parables for me is Luke’s account of the parable of the dishonest manager.  (I’m not alone – many commentators believe this to be the most difficult parable to understand.)  Why does the master commend his dishonest steward for acting prudently?  I offered a couple of possibilities in my talk and we considered some others during our discussion.

I think one of the more useful reminders about the second and third of the parables we considered is that, rather than thinking of the dishonest manager and the wicked tenants as people who are not us, we ought to be considering how we ourselves are like those Jesus talks about in his parables.

You can access a recording of my talk here or stream it from the icon below. (The podcast runs for 24:47.) You can find a copy of the prayer materials I distributed to participants here.