Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Gospel for Wednesday, 29th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 12:39-48

The Need for Vigilance and the Parable of the Steward (Continuation)

(Jesus said to His disciples,) [39] "But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been awake and would not have left his house to be broken into. [40] You also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

[41] Peter said, "Lord are you telling this parable for us or for all?" [42] And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? [43] Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. [44] Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions. [45] But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, [46] the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. [47] And that servant who knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. [48] But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much is given, of him much will be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more."

40. God has chosen to hide from us the time of our death and the time
when the world will come to an end. Immediately after death everyone
undergoes the Particular Judgment: "just as it is appointed for men to
die once, and after that comes judgment..." (Hebrews 9:27). The end of
the world is when the General Judgment will take place.

41-48. After our Lord's exhortation to vigilance, St. Peter asks a
question (verse 41), the answer to which is the key to understanding
this parable. On the one hand, Jesus emphasizes that we simply do not
know exactly when God is going to ask us to render an account of our
life; on the other--answering Peter's question--our Lord explains that
His teaching is addressed to every individual. God will ask everyone
to render an account of his doings: everyone has a mission to fulfill
in this life and he has to account for it before the judgment seat of
God and be judged on what he has produced, be it much or little.

"Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the
advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course
of our earthly life is completed (cf. Hebrews 9:27), we may merit to
enter with Him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the
blessed (cf. Matthew 25:31-46) and not, like the wicked and slothful
servants (cf. Matthew 25:26), be ordered to depart into the eternal
fire (cf. Matthew 25:41)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 48).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

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