August 11, 2019

19TH SUNDAY 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.
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.”

What kind of servant would you like Jesus to find in you when He comes? Tired, sitting and waiting, content that you’ve done enough? Or eagerly doing more, anticipating his every wish, excited to be with him once more? Will He only come at some future eschatological time, or has he been with us all along? Will we recognize him in whatever external appearance he chooses?

When I first read this Gospel passage, I thought it was all about doing more–being a good steward–giving more of my time, talent, and treasure. But upon reflection, I believe that it is also about being more. Being more loving, more compassionate, more forgiving. It can be draining to take on additional volunteer opportunities without some source of internal renewal.

Jesus, our master, however, anticipates our needs. When He initiates contact, knocking at the doors of our hearts, we have to be ready to open ourselves up to his will. God loves us unconditionally and wants us to become the very best version of ourselves. He continues to call us into deeper relationship with himself. He wishes us to surrender our will to him and to let him transform our lives, so that He becomes the center of all that we are and all that we do. When we respond to him, he does serve us in return. He feeds us spiritually in the Eucharist, in the Word, and in prayer.

Because we are grateful for God’s loving care, we actively wish to please him in return. We are empowered with the grace, vision, and endurance to leap out of our comfort zone, and go out into the world as stewards, who know the mind and heart of our master. We recognize an additional responsibility and urgency to be God’s eyes in this world– to see the suffering, His voice to speak out against injustice, and His hands to serve the poor and disenfranchised. We also become aware of the Lord’s spirit in others and begin to recognize that we are all His children.

We each have unique talents and spiritual gifts that God has bestowed on us. The more that we stretch ourselves to use our talents and Gifts of the Spirit to further His kingdom, the more that we slowly develop what St. Paul refers to as the fruit of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. We are now growing in holiness, which is foundationally based on our relationship with the Lord.

We have now become the eager stewards for our master, hearing the Word of God and doing it. We are truly blessed.
“Amen. Come Lord Jesus!”

Phyllis Sullivan
Certificate in Parish Life Ministry (25 Theology Credits)
15 Graduate Theology Credits towards Master’s Degree
RCIA Team Member at St. Philip the Apostle Parish

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