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Vigilant and faithful servants

Gospel Reading: Lk 12:39-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “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, he will put him 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 him 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; 48and 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.”

Disciples should prepare for the Lord’s return by living in a way that honors him when he comes to assess our walk with him. Jesus uses the picture of the thief to illustrate his point. If people knew when a burglar would break into their house, they would prepare and take measures to protect it. So also believers must be constantly ready, since the Son of Man (i.e., Jesus) will come at a time when they do not expect. The reality of the return in the face of the uncertainty as to its timing demands vigilance. Accountability to the Lord is a major New Testament theme (cf 1 Cor 3:10-15; 4:1-5; 1 Tm 4:12-16; 2 Pt 2:1-13). Grace does not end accountability. Rather, the goal of grace is to create a people who are faithful and zealous in the service for God (cf Ti 2:11-14). God cares what we do with his gifts, and at Jesus’ return, God will honor those who are faithful and discipline those who are not. Jesus closes by saying that to whom much is given much is demanded and those entrusted with much will be asked much.

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.