Wednesday, October 19, 2016

“From those to whom privilege and opportunity are given, we have the right to expect much.”

When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of men we are. - Ceasar Chavez – (1927 –1993: was an American labor leader and civil rights activist

Gospel Text: (LK 12:39-48)
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.”

The ending of today’ gospel has always given me pause:  “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much…”   For many of us in America, there is no denying that we have been given “much”. What are we called to do with this “much”….. Because many of us have been given “much”, we easily share our food and our time with our loved ones. But what about others we are not connected with through family, neighborhood, church or work? 

Peter’s question to Jesus in the gospel made me smile.  “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”  Is it in our DNA to separate ourselves into groups? Often we need to be reminded that we are all “coheirs and copartners in Christ”? This universal tendency to separate ourselves from people we see as different makes it harder to be inclusive and to see and to treat everyone as a child of God.

However, today’s gospel challenges us to “be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of God will come.” As followers of Jesus we must be prepared for those unexpected moments that happen in all our lives when we are confronted with the challenge of today’s readings to be inclusive and to live up to Jesus’ admonition that “much” is expected of us.  

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