October 22, 2014

The Gospel Today

Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Luke 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.”

Reflection (Sem. Jorge Santiago, Jr.):

The Gospel reading for today speaks of Jesus giving two analogies about being responsible and always prepared for the unexpected coming of the Son of Man. The first analogy is about the owner who secures his house from thieves for he does not know when and how the thieves will break into his house, so he is forced to take care of his house and keep it safe from harm all the time. The second analogy is about a servant who had been given a responsibility by his master to take care of his money and other maidservants; to distribute their food allowance at the proper time. The privileged servant must be prudent enough to manage the responsibility given to him by his master and he must do it all the time because the return of his master is unexpected.

What are the similarities of the two analogies of Jesus? First, the given opportunity to be responsible. Second, the chance to become a good steward. Lastly, the capacity to be faithful in doing what they ought to do. Looking at the analogies more closely, both the owner of the house and the servant were blessed. The owner of the house was blessed simply because he has a house to take care of. During those times, and even up to now, it is not easy to build and own a house. The servant was also blessed because he was given an opportunity to watch over the property of his master and to take care of his other maidservants. This servant must have been good because he had gained the trust of his master.

Looking at the opportunities given to these two men, I believe that we are also given so much opportunities by God in our lives, be it material, skills, talents, trust, and the like. God will never give us opportunities that are not beneficial to us and to others. These opportunities are given for us to grow maturely that will bring us closer to the Giver. For instance, you are a talented singer, your ability to sing like an angel can be a source of inspiration to others and it can lead them to be inspired in serving God by helping the Church. Or you have a leadership skill that can help poor people alleviate their status in life. Or you have the gift of tongue that can speak well about something that you are good at and the ability to persuade people. These gifts are from God alone. These gifts are opportunities. These gifts are meant to be shared and taken care of. That is why, we should do our very best to keep these opportunities safe from harm and so these gifts could bring us closer to one another and most especially to God.

As a seminarian, I am invited to discover my own giftedness. With the help of prayers and the formation here in the seminary, there are skills and talents that I have discovered. The formation is constantly reminding us to share to the community and to others our giftedness, whether it is a simple knowledge about computers, English proficiency, accounting, arts, or singing. These are opportunities to help others. These talents and skills may seem to be unrelated to our spirituality, but these gifts are meant to bring us and other people closer to God. If then, however, these gifts are shared with pride and heaviness of heart, they will no longer serve their spiritual purpose.

However, the more gifts we receive, the more is expected from us by God. It is then at the last day that God will ask us when and how we used the talents and skills that He had given us. That is the time when God will ask us how did we spend the opportunities He had given us. Did they serve their purpose? Did they help others? Did they glorify God? I invite you dear brothers and sisters to examine, as early as now, our own giftedness. Have we allowed ourselves to share those gifts to others? Have we spent our opportunities in a fruitful way? Let us ask the intercession of our Lady to help us open our eyes to answer these questions. Amen.

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