31 August 2017: A Sustained Faithfulness

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Thursday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1: 1 Thess. 3: 7-13; Gospel: Mt. 24: 42-51

Jesus, in today’s Gospel reading, invites us to be awake, to be ready. The reason behind this invitation is ‘His unexpected arrival’: “For the Son of Man is coming in an unexpected hour.”

Jesus explains this need to be prepared with a parable of a master and a servant. The servant should be found involved in his duty at the arrival of the master. If so, the servant receives the reward for his faithfulness; or else, he is punished for his hypocrisy.

From this context in which the servant is entrusted with a responsibility, we can expect a few different responses from the servant: he can carry on with his life doing all that is comfortable for him, not bothering about how he ought to be or what he is expected to do; or, he can attempt finding out the time of the return of the master and begin pretending that he had been faithful all the time; or, he can really be faithful to what he should be. Now, placing ourselves at the position of the servant, let us become aware that our master Lord Jesus Christ expects us to take up the third response. He does not look for unfaithfulness in what we are called to live. He does not want us to pretend to be good. He expects faithfulness, a sustained faithfulness, at every moment of our life.

This sustained faithfulness should not be expressed just on Sundays, or at the end of a retreat or recollection, or on some special days like birthday, marriage anniversary and patron’s feast, or when we feel good. It has to be at every moment of our life. This faithfulness is concretely expressed by our acts of love: a predominant love for God coupled with the love for our neighbour. May God help us in this journey:“And may He so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.” (1 Thess 3: 13)

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