The Gospel Today
Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.”
Reflection (Sem. Danichi Hui):
As a servant, it is expected that one must always be there for his master. Not only to attend to all his needs but more so to be always ready and vigilant. These are some good qualities of a servant that Jesus is referring to and challenging His disciples in the Gospel. To be vigilant is not only to be ready but to be keenly watchful.
In the seminary we were taught to manage our own time and to learn how to anticipate, because being a priest would mean not only to be a servant but an “on call servant”. I remember when I was the Liturgy Coordinator of our seminary, I had to prepare everything for all the liturgical celebrations we would be celebrating and by doing so I had to plot a calendar a month ahead in order to anticipate whether there would be conflicting activities or events that would hindered us in celebrating such occasions. The calendar that I made was also for scheduling purposes. I had to schedule when to buy the things we needed, the presider of the Mass, the time of the celebration and even the setting up of the liturgy. Everything had to be synchronized with the projected time and date of the event in order to serve well what was being asked of us. We cannot be lax for there were other things needed to attend to during those times, like, our academics, other community activities, apostolate and our everyday liturgical celebrations. This had been my life since I entered the seminary, it was just all the more tested when I became the Liturgy Coordinator for there were so many things needed to organize and I was the one appointed to do such task. This was also the time I had difficulty in managing my time as well, for doing everything was like forgetting myself. I had to check all the details I had made prior to the celebration and ensure that everything was ready. I had to be present all the time which also meant attending to my concerns last.
To be a servant and follower of God is to deny oneself as well. We cannot serve others while thinking of our own welfare at the same time. We can only be a servant when we have decided to be for others, and part of being for others is to be vigilant and ready because serving does not follow a specific time but a call to be prepared all the time. It cannot be a half-hearted decision nor a lukewarm disposition rather it must be firm and faithful decision. Yes, to be a servant is a decision because it is the “self” that chooses to give and commit. But it is also an invitation where everyone is called. No one is so special that only he can receive such invitation for all of us are capable to be a servant. But one must be willing and have the heart to take that invitation. We can only do as much that is why as early as now we are being trained to build a habit of anticipation and management so that when we become a priest and immerse ourselves in the ministry, we could always be available to serve others with vigilance and faithfulness.