Aug 7 2022 Reflection
Sunday 7 August 2022
First Reading: Wis 18:6-9
Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Ps 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22
Second Reading: Heb 11:1-2, 8-19
Gospel Reading: Lk 12:32-48
Today’s Note: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,
for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.
Sell your belongings and give alms.
Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out,
an inexhaustible treasure in heaven
that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
“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.”
Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
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?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, the master will put the servant
in charge of all his property.
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,
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.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
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.”
What is the greatest joy and treasure we could possibly possess? The Lord Jesus promises that those who seek God and his kingdom will not be disappointed (Luke 12:32, Matthew 6:33). The Lord Jesus offers us the greatest treasure possible – but we must first seek it and make it our true joy and possession above all else. We naturally want to have and keep whatever we think will bring us happiness, peace, and security. Jesus offers a priceless treasure and source of abundant joy and security that is worth selling all else for.
The priceless exchange and everlasting reward
Jesus tells his followers to not be fearful or anxious about their present lives and future security (Luke 12:32). He urges them to sell their possessions and to give their money to those who need it most – especially those who have nothing to provide for their present needs and welfare (Luke 12:33). This seems to go against our natural instinct to hoard and save for the future. Why would anyone want to sell their possessions and give away their money – unless they wanted to exchange these goods for something far more precious and of greater value than all the money and possessions they could ever hope to acquire in this present life.
Jesus warns that money and possessions will not last and can be taken away at any moment by a thief or by death itself. But there is one treasure which can never be lost or destroyed because it is kept secure by God himself. What is that treasure? It is the Lord himself and his kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). This treasure is worth far more than anything we could possibly acquire on our own. If you make the Lord your treasure, then you will have in your possession the greatest source of joy and lasting peace and security. The wisdom of Scripture tells us, If the Almighty is your gold and your precious silver, then you will delight yourself in the Almighty, and will turn your face toward God (Job 22:25-26). Do you know the joy and happiness of making God your one and only true treasure and security?
The Lord knocks at our door – will we answer him?
What is the meaning of the parable of the master who returns from a wedding feast to his home in the middle of the night (Luke 12:35-40)? The door to one’s house in the ancient world was usually bolted from the inside, especially at night to keep out thieves and troublemakers. It was not possible to enter from the outside without help from someone inside. Household attendants (domestic servants) who knew their master’s voice were expected to be always vigilant and prepared to unbolt the door and let him in without a moment’s delay. This required an attentive watchfulness and listening ear for any sign of the master’s approach. No distraction, not even sleep, could be allowed to interfere with the preparation for the master’s return. If the servants failed to hear the voice of their master’s return, they literally shut him out since he could not unbolt the door from the outside – only they could open the door from within and allow him to enter. Their failure to welcome and serve the master on his return brought shame and dishonor.
If the Lord Jesus knocked on your door today would you be ready and eager to receive him? He wants us to be prepared for his coming – today, tomorrow, at the hour of our departure from this life (our death), and when he comes again at the end of this present world to judge all the living and the dead. The Lord will reward those who have believed in him. The Lord Jesus knocks on the door of our heart each and every day. Do you listen to his word and receive it with trust and joy. The Lord calls to each one of us and he says, “Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will feast together” (Revelations 3:20). Do you hunger for the Lord and for the treasure of his kingdom?
The Lord comes to reward his faithful servants
Jesus’ parable adds an unexpected reward for those who have faithfully served and watched for the master’s return. When the master finally arrived home from the wedding feast at a late hour of the night, he did the unthinkable for his servants who were present to welcome and let him in. He then puts on a servant’s apron and tells his servants to be seated at his own banquet table. Once they are all seated the master then personally waits on them and serves them with his own rich food and drink (Luke 12:37). Jesus’ parable turns the world’s way of thinking upside-down. The master rewards his faithful servants by serving them himself with the best he has to offer – a royal feast fit for a king and his loyal subjects. Are you prepared to feast with the Lord at his banquet table?
Jesus’ parable has an important lesson for each one of us. Just as Jesus was faithful and ready to obey his Father in everything – even to the point of laying down his life on the cross for us, we too are called to be faithful and obedient to the Lord’s will for our lives. How can we grow in faithfulness and obedience to the Lord? The Lord gives us his Holy Spirit who frees us from pride and fear, so we can hear the Lord and embrace his way of love and faithfulness. If we fail, the Lord will not fail us. He gives strength to the weak and to those who turn to him with trust in his mercy and help. Ask the Lord Jesus to fill you with his Holy Spirit and with a holy desire to seek the Lord and his kingdom first above all else.
Lord Jesus, you alone are my treasure and the joy of my heart. May there be nothing in this world that holds me back from giving you my all – you are my all, my life and joy now and forever.