Blessed is that servant whom his master finds at work

AUGUST 11, 2019  NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (Lec. 117)

1)         Wisdom 18:6-9

2)         Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 or 11: 1-2, 8-12

3)         Luke 12:32-48 or 12:35-40 Gospel related: CCC 764

In today’s Gospel parable, the master is away at a wedding feast. In Jesus’ telling of this story, he focuses on those who await the master’s return. They have been given instructions and are expected to carry them out.

The servants do not know when the master will return. They wait and make preparations [and] act in accord with his will. And they are ready. If we put ourselves in the place of the servants with Jesus as the master, here we will find the Good News of the Gospel.

For being ready for Jesus’ second coming is less about any actual time and place, and more about what we choose to do while we wait. We, too, have been given instructions and commandments, and there is no time to waste in preparing and participating in God’s kingdom. Through the grace of baptism we have been grafted into Christ, giving us, as Wisdom says of our ancestors, sure knowledge of the oaths in which [we] put [our] faith. This is the faith which is the realization of what is hoped for: redemption in Jesus Christ. It is this faith that gives us the desire, as it gave Abraham, to obey God’s call, and the courage to journey wherever God has prepared for us to go.

At the end of the Lord’s Prayer during Mass, the priest prays in part, “Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil … that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin … as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” This prayer, “developing the last petition of the Lord’s Prayer itself, asks for deliverance from the power of evil for the whole community of the faithful” (GIRM 81).

So with prayer and action, we prepare ourselves and one another for the return of our master. We do whatever it means, individually, for each one of us to sell [our] belongings and give alms; to gird [our] loins and light [our] lamps; to defend our house from thieves. Let us know God’s will, and follow it soberly and attentively. Let us do these things, by God’s grace. And we shall rejoice when we once again see the Son of Man.