Section 3, Chapter 17
The parable of the unjust steward and of the rich man and Lazarus.
16:1. And he said also to his disciples: There was a certain rich man who had a steward: and the same was accused unto him, that he had wasted his goods.
16:2. 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.
16:3. And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able; to beg I am ashamed.
16:4. I know what I will do, that when I shall be removed from the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
16:5. Therefore, calling together every one of his lord's debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord?
16:6. But he said: An hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him: Take thy bill and sit down quickly and write fifty.
16:7. Then he said to another: And how much dost thou owe? Who said: An hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him: Take thy bill and write eighty.
16:8. And the lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.
16:9. And I say to you: Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity: that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.
Mammon of iniquity. . .Mammon signifies riches. They are here called the mammon of iniquity, because oftentimes ill gotten, ill bestowed, or an occasion of evil; and at the best are but worldly, and false; and not the true riches of a Christian. They may receive. . .By this we see, that the poor servants of God, whom we have relieved by our alms, may hereafter, by their intercession, bring our souls to heaven.
16:10. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in that which is greater: and he that is unjust in that which is little is unjust also in that which is greater.
16:11. If then you have not been faithful in the unjust mammon, who will trust you with that which is the true?
16:12. And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?
16:13. No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other: or he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
16:14. Now the Pharisees, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
16:15. And he said to them: you are they who justify yourselves before men, but God knoweth your hearts. For that which is high to men is an abomination before God.
16:16. The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the kingdom of God is preached: and every one useth violence towards it.
16:17. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the law to fall.
16:18. Every one that putteth away his wife and marrieth another committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
16:19. There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and feasted sumptuously every day.
16:20. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores,
16:21. Desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. And no one did give him: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
16:22. And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell.
Abraham's bosom. . .The place of rest, where the souls of the saints resided, till Christ had opened heaven by his death.
16:23. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off and Lazarus in his bosom:
16:24. And he cried and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame.
16:25. And Abraham said to him: Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented.
16:26. And besides all this, between us and you, there is fixed a great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot, nor from thence come hither.
16:27. And he said: Then, father, I beseech thee that thou wouldst send him to my father's house, for I have five brethren,
16:28. That he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments.
16:29. And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them.
16:30. But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance.
16:31. And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead.