Tuesday, October 20, 2020

 Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time

(Ephesians 2:12-22; Luke 12:35-38)

 John Kennedy told the story of a colonial legislature hard at work when a towering thunderstorm darkened the skies.  The occasion seemed so ominous that some of the legislators, fearing it was the biblical “day of the Lord,” thought it would be best to adjourn the session.  They wanted to return to their families for the Lord’s arrival.  The Speaker of the chamber, however, thought differently.  He spoke up, “If it is the ‘Day of the Lord,’ then we will want to be found at work when He comes.  If it is not, then we would look foolish for becoming terrified over a thunderstorm.  Therefore, I say, bring in the candles.”

The Speaker of the chamber must have had today’s gospel in mind. He wants the legislators not only to be at their posts but also diligently at work should the Lord come.  What is surprising about the gospel passage, however, is Jesus’ promise.  He will turn around and take care of his good servants. Later in this same Gospel according to Luke, Jesus will say that a servant who only does his duty should not expect a reward (cf. Luke 17:9-10).  But he himself is such a lenient master that he becomes the “servant of servants.”

The Lord wants us to wait for his return but not to “play a waiting game.”  We wait for him by serving in his name.  Our service may be a formal or informal church ministry or, perhaps, meeting an urgent family or social need.  In any case, we want to serve as if the Lord himself were coming to inspect our work.