Lenten Prayer with St Cuthbert – Day 30

The parable of the unrighteous manager always throws folk. But its a parable, not a story. The key is in v9 : ‘And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.’ They may receive you? Who? Eternal dwellings? Really? How does that work? The parable is about God and Israel. The master’s property, in the hands of his manager, is God’s blessing promised to the world through his people that they never gave. Unrighteous wealth is unmerited wealth. Remember Abraham’s faith? It was credited to him as ‘righteousness’ because he believed God. But this is ‘unrighteous’ because it is not ‘credited’ to Israel. It was given as a blessing to be given as a blessing. Faced with the judgement of God the manager, at last, starts to give it away. So, at last, the angels might welcome the people of God to their eternal dwellings. The warning is clear. But so is the gracious mercy of the master, and therefore hope.

Nuns fleeing the barbarian army. Some things never change. Cuthbert finds them a home, but one of them, a relative of one of Cuthbert’s priests, Aethelwald, has a severe illness. It’s a simple story of prayer and anointing, the sort of thing that goes on in the Church all the time, and has done since her earliest days. Sometimes the healing takes place this side of the curtain, as here, sometimes the other, but always the healing happens. Remember Easter? We now see through the torn curtain into the other side.

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