Gospel, Mt 24:42-51
42 ‘So stay awake, because you do not know the day when your master is coming.
43 You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time of the night the burglar would come, he would have stayed awake and would not have allowed anyone to break through the wall of his house.
44 Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
45 ‘Who, then, is the wise and trustworthy servant whom the master placed over his household to give them their food at the proper time?
46 Blessed that servant if his master’s arrival finds him doing exactly that.
48 But if the servant is dishonest and says to himself, “My master is taking his time,”
49 and sets about beating his fellow-servants and eating and drinking with drunkards,
50 his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know.
REFLECTION/RESPONSE: A Homily given by Fr.Binh Le, (the Vocations Director of the Archdiocese of Melbourne), to the Seminarians at Corpus Christi College Carlton.
Thursday 21st Week in Ordinary Time, II
Most of us have been on a plane. Before the plane took off, the crew captain often made an announcement something like this, “Ladies and gentlemen, we would like your attention for a few moments while we show you some of the safety features on this aircraft…” The attendant then shows the passengers how to fasten the seatbelt, and advises the passengers to keep it fastened during the flight; the attendant also shows the passengers the locations of emergency exits; in the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, an individual oxygen mask will be dropped in front of them, attend first to yourself then the others; and where and how to use the safety jacket in the case of emergency. The idea behind all this is to help the passengers to be prepared/ready for the unexpected. But often, few pay any attention to what the crew captain is saying.
In today’s gospel, Jesus gives us some instructions regarding the flight of life, a flight in which all of us are involved. He tells us to prepare for the unexpected. Like faithful servants, we should be keeping ourselves in a state of readiness; not in fear but in hope and trust in the Master.
As life goes on, we become increasingly aware of the paradox of our lives; that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy less. We have bigger houses but smaller families; more conveniences but less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgment; more experts but less solutions; more medicine but less health.
We have learnt how to make a living but not a life; we have added years to life but not life to years. We have higher incomes, but lower morale. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce; of fancier houses but broken homes.
We have been all the way to the moon and back but have troubled crossing the road to meet our neighbour; we have conquered outer space but not inner space; we have cleaned up the air but polluted the soul.
These are the realities and conditions of life that we, as faithful servants, are living in but not belonging to. [I hope & pray]
We are the servants of the Lord and of one another. Every day is another opportunity for us to be faithful to our responsibilities and commitments. Anytime is a bad time for the unfaithful servant. Anytime is a good time for the faithful servant. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said: ‘We are called not to be successful but to be faithful.’
Lord, give us the wisdom to know what to do, the skill to know how to do it, and the virtue to do it. Amen.