Daily Homily: The Son of Man Will Come

Wednesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Year Two

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Ephesians 3:2-12
Isaiah 12:2-3,4bcd,5-6
Luke 12:39-48

Jesus teaches his disciples to be ready for our encounter with him at the moment of death and to be ready for his second coming.

Yesterday we listened to Jesus compare his disciples to servants waiting for the master’s return from a marriage feast. The servants who are vigilant and welcome the master are seated at table and served by the master when he returns. When Jesus knocks at the door, we must open the door to him.

Just like the householder does not know when a thief may strike, we do not know the day or the hour of Jesus’ return. Saint Cyril of Alexandria interprets the three watches of the night to three stages in our lives: childhood, youth-adulthood and old age. «The first of these, in which we are still children, is not called to account by God but is deemed worthy of pardon, because of the innocence as yet of the mind and the weakness of the understanding. The second and the third – the periods of adulthood and old age – owe obedience and piety of life to God, according to his good pleasure. Whoever is found watching and well-belted, whether by change he is still young or has arrived at old age, shall be blessed. For he will be counted worthy of attaining to Christ’s promise» (Commentary on Luke, Homily 92)

Today, Jesus compares the apostles to domestic servants who are charged with various duties in the household of God’s kingdom. The royal tasks entrusted to them must be fulfilled diligently before Christ’s sudden return (Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament, 133). Unfaithful stewards neglect their duties and are punished. To whom much is given, much will be required.

In short, watchfulness, diligence, service, fidelity leads to the joy of heaven; carelessness, laziness, greed and infidelity leads to punishment for sin.

Saint Paul exemplifies the characteristics of the good and faithful servant. He is watchful and allows himself to be guided by the Holy Spirit. He is diligent, even working to sustain himself and not burden the Christian communities with whom he stays. He serves tirelessly and sees his life as being for the service of the Gospel. Today, he calls his ministry «stewardship», since it has been entrusted to him by God and given to him for the benefit of the people he serves. Finally, he is faithful, faithful to Christ and to the mission he has been given.

Not only is Paul a steward of the mysteries of God, he is a minister and servant (diakonos). Paul serves the Gentile Christians by communicating to them the mysteries of salvation, mysteries revealed to the Apostles and prophets by the Holy Spirit. This plan of salvation includes the Gentiles, who, in Jesus Christ and through the Gospel, have been made coheirs of the promises made to Israel and members of the Body of Christ. This inheritance is eternal life.

Readers may contact Fr Jason Mitchell at mitchelljason2011@gmail.com.

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Jason Mitchell

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