22 October 2008 Wednesday of the 29th Year in Ordinary Time
Ephesians 3, 2-12; Isaiah 12; Luke 12, 39-48
Central to the test of our faith is the challenge to be constantly ready for the Master’s return. In the parable today, Jesus emphasizes that His return is guaranteed, but the timing is not. His return is certain, but He may come, like a thief, at an “unexpected day or at an unknown hour.” Nevertheless, preparation is important.
Part of our preparation is the development of our gifts and the accomplishment of our responsibilities. While the “master” is away, the servants delayed preparing for his return. They became complacent and irresponsible.
Each of us has our share of strengths, talents and abilities. God has given them to us. Our responsibilities — meaning our response to these gifts —- are supposed to be used at the service of others, whether it is our household, our communities or the society at large. When we are given a job, for example, we have been assessed whether we have the abilities to fulfill them. We are qualified for a job because we have the gifts necessary to accomplish the task. The more we are able to accomplish the work entrusted to us, the more we become qualified for bigger responsibilities. Thus, the parable tells us that to whomever much has been given, much will be expected.
We move up the corporate ladder because we are qualified. We are given higher positions of leadership, not because of the strings we pulled or the connections we have, but because our track record of service is impressive.
The Word of God is counter-cultural. This parable goes against the pervading culture of nepotism as practiced both in the private and government sector. And it goes against what we often think: that in order to climb the ladder, all it takes is to ask whom we know.