Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

(Revelation 4:1-11; Luke 19:11-28)

There is drama behind today’s gospel.  What seems at first sight the telling of a rather simple parable turns into the last chance for the players to commit themselves.  It is like the last call to place bets at the racetrack.  One must either play or be left behind.

The drama opens as Jesus is approaching Jerusalem.  Shortly he will deliver himself to be crucified for the salvation of the world.  In his entourage are two kinds of people – those who have been following Jesus but have not committed themselves to him and those who have become his disciples.  Both have roles in Jesus’ parable.  The first group must decide for or against Jesus.  If they do not commit themselves to him for all the good that he has done, they have decided against him.  The latter are the dissenters in the parable who do not want Jesus as their king.  They will come to regret their choice.  Even Jesus’ disciples have a decision to make.  They can either risk their comfort in proclaiming Jesus to the world after his death and resurrection or play it safe and do nothing to promote his triumph.  The more they risk – the more they give of themselves for the sake of Jesus’ kingship, the more they will gain in the end.  But if they choose not to expend any effort – if they sit back rather than make sacrifices for him -- they will lose whatever value their original choice for him had.   

We find ourselves in the second group.  We have decided to follow Jesus but have not, perhaps, wanted to make sacrifices to proclaim him to others.  Maybe we have a bad habit like telling racist jokes that gives a counter-testimony to Jesus.  Or perhaps we refuse to do something we know we should like joining a small faith community. Jesus’ parable tells us that there is little time left.  We must move to proclaim him now.