A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied,
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
Good News Reflection: Eternally busy servanthood
What complaints do you have? What are you doing to improve each situation that has caused you to grumble?
Whenever we’re unhappy, it’s a sign that we need to do something — take action — to make a change. The feeling of being irritated and displeased is a grace-filled urge to make changes by using the gifts and training and insights that God has given us. It’s not supposed to make us cranky; it’s meant to motivate us off our lazy seats and dowhatever we can, with God’s help, following his guidance, always alert to his timing.
Change starts by pointing the finger of responsibility at ourselves. Are we unhappy with others? We cannot change them, but we can improve something in our own lives to relieve the misery. Are we actively searching for alternate ways to get our needs met? Are we humble enough to change ourselves when wishing that others would change?
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus warns about the unfaithfulness of those who claim to be Christian yet disregard the Lord’s will. When we know what needs to be done for the kingdom of God and we have the ability to do something about it, but do nothing, this is the grievous sin of apathy compounded by disobedience.
Sometimes we’re unaware of what needs to be done or how to get it done. As Jesus said, we’re only accountable for what we understand. This is why a person who breaks a Church law without understanding it is to be given patience and time, along with evangelization and education – by those who do understand.
Woe are we if we see a need and understand its importance and have the ability to fix it and neglect to take action! Jesus wants to find us busy serving the kingdom of God in our daily lives all the way up to the hour of our deaths: in our secular workplaces and other positions in the world, not just in church. Remember, we don’t have to look religious to be serving God.
The “Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity” from Vatican Council II was written to remind us that we are all called and gifted to “renew the temporal order”. We are enabled and required to restore the temporary world to the condition that God wants for it, which is a reflection of the eternal world of heaven.
Society tells us that our goal for aging is to live longer and enjoy lots of restful retirement years with plenty of time to play and cater to ourselves. But Jesus did not say, “Blessed is the servant whom his Master finds busy when he returns, unless he’s retired.” There’s always a way to serve God, even if our bodies become totally disabled.
Christian servanthood is the greatest possible lifestyle, because it has eternal results. Why would we want to give that up to do crossword puzzles and watch TV all day?
God has gifted you with the means to serve him. You can make the world a better place — and he is relying on you! Amidst the increasing crises of our world today, your service is all the more necessary.
Today’s Prayer:Lord, you’ve shown me Your mercy and Your love. I want to be always willing to share them with generosity. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica