Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them.
If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions.
But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful.
That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today’s gospel offers a teaching parable about what is essential, how life works, the day by day of it. The readiness, the alertness that Jesus asks, suggests what we call “accountability” in the details. This is the good service, living well, responsible for where we live and how we thrive: our health, our friendships, our town, the air and water and justice and peace around us. We are called to be useful, to know what we’re doing, what we avoid, what we waste, whom we care for or neglect. You could call this “growing up” in the world. It’s the attitude of a servant who does not own the place, but loves it anyway, loves it all the more because it is gift.
And already now the true lover and holder of our lives is on his way. As I wake, as I worry or work or wonder what this is all for, the Lord is never far, always coming near. In the midst of the tensions and questions of being human, there is this knock at the door, and there is the Lord himself with full heart and presence, putting on an apron to wait on us. Hasn’t it been happening already!
Who is God for you in the day to day? God’s name is just this: the one who is on the way, always, very near. The one who knocks even now.
—Fr. Richard Bollman, S.J., a Jesuit of the Chicago-Detroit province, has been the pastor at St. Robert Bellarmine Chapel of Xavier University, Cincinnati. He now works with Xavier’s Center for Mission and Identity.
Lord, even today you are knocking on our door. You beckon us toward hope, promise, and eternal surprise of astonishing joy. We fully commit all our thoughts and actions to you. And pray for gratitude as we witness the sunrises and sunsets of our life.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team