A reading from the gospel according to Luke 12:39-48
Jesus said to his disciples:
39 “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.
40 You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
41 Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
42 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?
43 Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
44 Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
45 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,
46 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.
47 That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely;
48 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.”
While Jesus continues to talk about readiness in this gospel reading, he also adds the theme of responsibility. There is indeed a need for each one of us to be alert of the time when we will finally meet our creator. We are not sure of the hour and the day when it will happen but we know it will soon come to pass. So we wait but we don’t passively wait. We spend the “meantime” actively performing our respective responsibilities.
Each one of us is given tasks to accomplish. That is our mission or responsibilities in life. Some have simple responsibilities while others have great responsibilities. To accomplish our responsibilities, we were given spiritual as well as mental and material gifts. The more gifts we have, the larger is our responsibility. Verse 48 is emphatic, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more”. The question is, do we know our mission or responsibilities in life? Do we make full use of our gifts or talents in the fulfillment of our mission?
The gospel above gives hints of violence like beating and punishment for those servants whom the master finds not doing their jobs. For us who have already heard the Word of God and yet we ignore His command to be ready, there will be severe beating but those who are ignorant of the Word of God but they also did not do their job will be beaten only lightly. In other words, we all have to do our respective roles within the “Body of Christ” to the best of our abilities whether we are the fingers or the head. This means that our actions and decisions in life have grave consequences. We cannot be idle while waiting for His coming. Let us get to work now.
See also: Matthew 24:42-51 Reflection