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Friends, today’s Gospel focuses on prudence. Luke gives us the parable of the dishonest steward, who seeks the favor of his master’s debtors by reducing what they owed him. And the master even “commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.”

In the Middle Ages, prudence was called “the queen of the virtues” because it was the virtue that enabled one to do the right thing in a particular situation. Prudence is a feel for the moral situation, something like the feel a quarterback has for the playing field, or a politician for the voters in his district.

Courage, justice, and temperance are wonderful virtues, but without prudence, they are blind and finally useless. For a person can be as courageous as possible, but if he doesn’t know when, where, and how to play out his courage, that virtue is useless.