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Being merciful is a “good deal”


Shutterstock-Andrey Cherepanov

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 11/04/22

Even if you’re used to having a distorted outlook on life, living according to what the Gospel teaches is worthwhile

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Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

The account of the parable of the dishonest steward opens up a great discussion regarding what Jesus proposes. Indeed, what sense does it make to praise a man who has been stealing all his life, and who, at the end of his story when he has to give an account of his actions, finds a subterfuge so that he doesn’t end up completely on the street?

Perhaps the key to understanding this comes from putting ourselves in the shoes of those who are listening to Jesus at that moment. Hardened sinners live with the conviction that they’re smarter than everyone else. They don’t think of themselves as victims but rather as people who have the ability to weave deals in their favor under all circumstances. Precisely to people who reason this way, Jesus seems to be saying that “being merciful” is a deal! Get smart, yes, and get compassionate toward your brothers and sisters, because the day will come when that compassion will save your life! 

Actually, Jesus seems to be telling us that God is the master of everything, and everything we have in this life is his property. If we use the things we’re given in this life in favor of others, then that Master may have a different view of us, because His way of being the Master is atypical: What he enjoys isn’t his property, but the happiness of his servants. 

So, even if you’re used to having a distorted outlook on life, you better live according to what the Gospel teaches, because behind that way of living and reasoning is hidden the real deal that can save your life:

“And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than the children of light.”


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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