Wednesday of the 29th Week of the Year

Luke 12:39-48

Vigilant and Faithful Servants

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

A dying king named Bagda did not yet have any successor. His chancellor advised him to choose between two of his best servants. And he did.

He asked one of them: “Quarum, if you be king, what kind of a king shall you be?” Quarum answered: ‘I will rule by decrees and command the people with severity.” The King asked the same question to Rostrum. He answered: “I will continue to be as I am a servant.” “What do you mean?” the King asked. He replied: “The only difference between a king and a servant is a throne. The true king is the one who serves.” Rostrum became King Bagda’s successor.

Today, God calls us once more to be faithful to the life and words of Jesus as we await the end of time, his second coming. How are we to await him? Let us look to Jesus, the faithful servant.

Despite criticisms, rejection, pain and suffering, he remained faithful in the love of His Father, fulfilling the mission entrusted to Him – to proclaim the reign of God to all. It was his experience of being the Beloved Son of his Abba that helped him to be a faithful servant. (Sr. Marichu Cacayan, SSpS, Bible Diary 2002)

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“More will be asked of a man to whom more has been entrusted.”

The parable of the Unwise Steward contains a lesson in faithfulness. God loves faithfulness and richly rewards those who are faithful to him. What is faithfulness? It means keeping one’s word or palabra de honor”, promise and commitment no matter how tough or difficult it gets. Faithfulness is a character trait of God and one that he expects of us. Fortunately, God, gives us the grace and strength to remain faithful. He also rewards faithfulness. The joy and privilege of being a son/daughter of god carries with it an awesome responsibility. The Lord expects us to make good use of the gifts and graces he gives to us. The more God gives, the more God requires. The temptation while the Master is away is to put off for tomorrow what the master expects us to do today. Are you always faithful to God and ready to give him an account of your stewardship? (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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Before the election last year I was in a small island for the monthly celebration of the Mass. Since there was no chapel, the locals had to take turns hosting the Mass. After the Mass I was talking with the host who was excited about the abundant catch of fish on that season. Since fifteen years ago it was only that time that fish were in great supply. Shifting the topic to the coming election, he whispered to me how the owner of the island was threatening the community to vote for his candidate, otherwise there was a danger that they would be banished from the island. Given the promising income from fishing and the threat, the people had already decided to vote for the owner’s candidate.

The gospel today says that we have to be ready and wide awake for the coming of the master. Here is a short commentary about this in the pastoral edition of the Bible: “Wide awake concerns about tomorrow’s world. Wide awake also means being aware of the truth; we do not consent to call ‘good’ evil, and ‘evil’ good; we do not forgive ourselves for allowing evil and we are not intimidated before injustice.”

How easily we oftentimes give in to evil for fear that our present status might be in danger of collapsing. How fast we compromise our values, even common sense values, because our comfort zone might be jeopardized. The martyrs today, Sts. John Isaac and companions (Oct. 19) give us an example on how to stand ready and wide awake for the master’s return. (Fr. Atilano Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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A news item in the US relates about how burglars broke into a New York firm. This wouldn’t have raised eyebrows at all, especially when the incident took place in notorious New York. What makes it funny is the fact that it happened to a company that manufactures burglar-proof glass windows!

“it never occurred to us,” said the president of the firm, “to put our own burglar-proof glass in our own door.”

This amusing story shows how oftentimes we take things for granted and how wanting we are in preparedness. In the gospel of today, Jesus tells us, “You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

How is the preparation to be made?

Christ tells us to be faithful and prudent. Being faithful means being loyal to our commitments, say, to our marital or religious vows or to the honest performance of our duties and obligations in whatever capacities we may be, whether as a plain housewife or parent, a factory worker, a government personnel, an employer or a top executive.

Let’s live in such a way that in our last moment we may not have cause to regret. In the words of spiritual writer, “A life well lived today makes every yesterday dream and every tomorrow a vision of hope.” (Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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In every Sunday Mass during the past year we have experienced through the liturgy the first coming of Christ, and then His passion, death and resurrection. Now, when the year is coming to an end, we ‘wait in joyful hope for the second coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.’

Peter’s question and Jesus’ reply suggest that Church leaders are being alluded to. The faithful servant distributes the food allowance at the proper time, just as God does in Psalm 145: “You give them their food in due season.” Peter is, of course, the leader who was later commissioned to “feed my lambs, feed my sheep.” Today, we are all called not only to be disciples but also to be leaders for each other.

How do we wait for the Lord? We become sincere, committed, involved members of our Christian family, whether in the parish or in the pamayanan. Tony Philpott, an English diocesan priest, explains in his book on spiritual basics, You shall be Holy, “The Church feeds me with life. By being plugged into the Church, by living her sacramental life, I become heir to all the blessings God has promised his people. In return I feed the Church with my loyalty, my energy and my love.”

We all know from experience how easy it is to be lazy and selfish and not to make the effort needed to love or respect or serve other people in our believing community. If we behave like the unjust steward, perhaps even using our position in the Church as priests or religious or lay leaders to take advantage of others or even to hurt them, we will destroy ourselves, not unlike an able student who wastes his/her time at college and leaves without graduating. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “We offend God inasmuch as we act against our own good.” in the Church our good is inevitably tied with the good of our brothers and sisters. Often, however, we do not fully appreciate the wrong we are doing in the Church. Of course a lot more is expected of the person of ability, and it is a great tragedy that such a person neglects his/her gifts and responsibilities within the Church.

Jesus replies to Peter: “Who is the faithful servant.” This question is relevant for everyone of us in the Church. We face this question not only now but over and over again as we live and grow together as Christians.

As Advent draws near, today’s gospel message is clear: whatever our place in the Church, let us not neglect the gifts and abilities that God has entrusted to us. Let us be ready to meet Christ, not through fear, nor simply through last minute preparations before we die, but through the joyful daily living out of our Christian commitment of faith, hope and love. 9Fr. Alan Meechan, SVD Bible Dairy 2008)

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It is always the same experience with students and seminarians that they only start studying when the examinations are at their doorsteps. At those times, they easily panic and cram and are not available anymore for anything else. Why should one study if the examination is still that far away?

It seems the same in our spiritual life. Why should we make as effort as long as things are going well somehow? After all, spiritual life seems not to be that concrete as the one hundred and thousand other things which come our way from outside in our daily life. Spending a lot of time in watching television, on our pet activities seems to be more exciting. Why should we look now for a deeper spiritual life? That can come later….

But the Lord tells exactly the opposite. Be ready and prepared and do not waste your time and your life. In fact, many times the Lord comes and knocks at our door. But we are not yet home. Next time na lang.

Be ready and prepare for His coming….. (Fr. Franz-Josef Eilers, SVD Bible Diary 2009)

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October 19, 2016 Wednesday

Paul speaks of stewardship as a grace and privilege while Jesus stresses it as being both urgent and obligatory for us. In the New Testament both Paul and Jesus see stewardship as evangelization, meaning, helping other people to come close to God and to each other.

The message in today’s readings is of particular importance during this year, dedicated to the Eucharist and the Family, as part of the general renewal of our Church in preparation for the five hundreth anniversary of her arrival in the Philippines. Some years ago Pope Saint John Paul II spoke of the family as the Munting Simbahan, the starting point of evangelization. This concept of family extends to all humanity as con rmed at the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu last January.

Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium endorses at length and in more detail the words of Paul and  Jesus: “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized.

Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization, indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love.” (# 120) Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians in tomorrow’s first reading is an excellent illustration of the joy and hope of stewardship.

I would like finally to echo Pope Francis again: “For all this, I repeat: Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of the joy of evangelization. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of hope!” (# 83 & 86) Fr. Alan Meechan, SVD Naujan, Or. Mindoro Bible Diary 2016

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/957-october-19-2016-wednesday

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Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Romans 6:12-18
Psalm 124:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8
Luke 12:39-48

Luke 12:39-48 – “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
And still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Whenever I read the passage referenced above from Luke’s Gospel, I am reminded of how much I have been given and how much I should be giving back to the Lord in his people.

Like many of you, I have been born in a wonderful country that has fought for its freedoms. A country that is not without flaws…. but a country that is “rich” in so many ways when compared with the world’s population.

I have been given an outstanding education, good health, a mind and body that can think and do for others. I am most blessed among many women in our world…

So what direction does this gospel passage give me? And perhaps you, who are as blessed as I am?

At the end of the day, when we review what has gone on in our lives, I am reminded to ask myself these questions:

•How focused have I been in reaching out to and doing good for God’s people?
•How well did I contribute to the dignity of persons with whom I live and work?
•How can I do better?

At 70 years of age, I have decided to focus my energy on ways to help stop elder abuse/mistreatment. As a caregiver for three persons in my family who died from Alzheimer’s disease and related complications, I have been in the position to see how elder mistreatment can occur.

As U.S. medical professionals have knowledge to support longevity of life, it still does not have the answers as to how to help vulnerable older persons live “quality” lives that support their dignity.

Good and gracious God, help us be attuned to the dignity of the vulnerable people who live and work with us. Fill our hearts with Your compassion so that each person we touch will be better for our being in their lives. Amen.

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In every Sunday Mass during the past year we have experienced through the liturgy the first coming of Christ, and then His passion, death and resurrection. Now, when the year is coming to an end, we ‘wait in joyful hope for the second coming of our Savior Jesus Christ.’

Peter’s question and Jesus’ reply suggest that Church leaders are being alluded to. The faithful servant distributes the food allowance at the proper time, just as God does in Psalm 145: “You give them their food in due season.” Peter is, of course, the leader who was later commissioned to “feed my lambs, feed my sheep.” Today, we are all called not only to be disciples but also to be leaders for each other.

How do we wait for the Lord? We become sincere, committed, involved members of our Christian family, whether in the parish or in the pamayanan. Tony Philpott, an English diocesan priest, explains in his book on spiritual basics, You shall be Holy, “The Church feeds me with life. By being plugged into the Church, by living her sacramental life, I become heir to all the blessings God has promised his people. In return I feed the Church with my loyalty, my energy and my love.”

We all know from experience how easy it is to be lazy and selfish and not to make the effort needed to love or respect or serve other people in our believing community. If we behave like the unjust steward, perhaps even using our position in the Church as priests or religious or lay leaders to take advantage of others or even to hurt them, we will destroy ourselves, not unlike an able student who wastes his/her time at college and leaves without graduating. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “We offend God inasmuch as we act against our own good.” in the Church our good is inevitably tied with the good of our brothers and sisters. Often, however, we do not fully appreciate the wrong we are doing in the Church. Of course a lot more is expected of the person of ability, and it is a great tragedy that such a person neglects his/her gifts and responsibilities within the Church.

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The motto of our finance department goes: “Accuracy, Accountability, and Transparency.” God also wants his house to be in order and so, as the gospel story points out,  we have to make our own accounting before him as servants. Our life on earth is not only a gift, but a trust coming from God himself. There are three things we have to account for:

  • Time. God may not be always around to guard us and correct us, but each day we are given a gift that cannot be retrieved. We have to make the best of each opportunity that God allows us to have.
  • Talent/Treasure. Our position and authorities are privileges that carry responsibilities. To be a servant in charge of others is an acknowledgement and recognition that somehow we have one over the other when it comes to abilities and skills.
  • Charity. God is love. As His servants, we have to be one with Him not only in his vision and mission, but also in his values (Fr.Domie Guzman New Morning New Everyday 2006 p. 309).

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 The gospel tells us: Obedience is Servanthood. Around seven times, the expressions, ‘steward,’ ‘servant,’ ‘menservants,’ ‘maidservants,’ appear in the length of the gospel narration.

True servanthood includes the following qualities:

  • Common sense. We should never be proud, but we should always realize that our privileges are gifts. We should never forget where we started out – from below. Hence, we should never maltreat others who are inferior to us physically, materially, morally, intellectually and spiritually. Rather, we should always have a “sense” for and with them.
  • Sense of responsibility. The most important responsibility we have is not the charge of material things, but that of being keepers of one another. We are responsible for each other. Our material resources are meant to be shared with one another!
  • Sense of opportunity. Time is a gift that is fleeting and irreplaceable. Let us make the best use of time that is given to us. (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP New Every Morning New Everyday 2006 p. 309-310)

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Today’s readings speak about service and about slavery. In the gospel Jesus tells us that there are two different ways to serve, represented in the parable by the faithful, far-sighted steward and the steward who abuses his privileges. The first reading says there are two different kinds of slavery: the slavery of sin and the slavery of justice.

The whole question about service and about slavery is very relevant for our time. Slavery in our day includes human trafficking and the exploitation of immigrants, the poor, women and children. At the same time, there is a mentality that moves to the opposite extreme and claims that we should be free from all forms of service, even the service of God. This is the prevailing mentality of secular or atheistic humanism which tells us to “throw of the chains of old dogmas and religious practices” and claim our personal freedom. Who needs God today? It is up to us to improve the world with better technology, better medicines, better computers, better everything.

The choice of freedom from God becomes a worse slavery – slavery to sin. The choice to submit to God, the free decision to be his servant, to be a “slave of justice,” as Paul says in the first reading, becomes the greatest freedom, the freedom of the children of God. The slaves of justice, the slaves of obedience to God, are in fact not slaves at all, but are children of God. The reason Jesus so often uses the image of servants or slaves in his parables is not to burden us with slavery to rules and dogmas. It is to free us from an error that is worse – thinking that we are God and that we can claim the rights of God to decide for ourselves what is good and what is evil.

It is an illusion to think we do not have to serve anyone. God, who does not have to serve anyone, serves everyone! We, who are children of God, must either serve God or be slaves to something else to the expectations of the culture. This paradox is everywhere if our eyes are open to it.

If Jesus, who has every right to glory and deserves all honor, emptied himself and took the form of a slave, we too must empty ourselves. We must take on the attitude, the whole inner disposition of a servant of God. Let us follow the way of Jesus Christ, the way of a faithful steward, the faithful slave of justice, and serve God and our neighbour in love and truth. (Pondering the Word The Anawim Way, Liturgical Meditations from 29th to 34th Week in Ordinary Time – October 16, 2011 to November 26, 2011 Cycle A Year I pp. 29-30).

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When much is given, much is required.”

Richard Hutton and Frank Kendig have written a book called Life Spans, or How Long Things Last. The book is filled with unusual facts

For example, the shoes of an average major league baseball player last two months. The stick of average hockey player lasts two games. The boots of a combat soldier last two months.

Life spans of things are fairly predictable. Life spans of individuals are less predictable. Today’s gospel reminds us about how unpredictable life is. It warns us to use our time on earth selflessly and productively. It ends: “Much is required from the person to whom much is given.”

How are we using our talents and time? Are we using them exclusively for ourselves?

“Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you do hold well.” (Mark Link, SJ Illustrated Daily Homilies (Weekdays – 5th print 2003) p. 265)

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WORD Today (Rom 6:12-18; Luke 12:39-48: A man in a car is free to go where he wants to. But to get there he must be a slave to traffic laws. Paul reminds us that Christ died to set us free from the slavery of sin, but only to become slaves of Christ. Christ says that those he frees belong to Him and become His servants with duties to manage His car, His fuel and His stereo. When Christ returns, he’ll punish any servant He finds abusing His passengers, entertaining himself like there’s no tomorrow (Lk 12:44-46). Modern man believes he owns his car absolutely, running over God’s laws on sexuality and marriage, making his own laws and wreaking havoc on God’s Highway. This is not freedom. Freedom in Christ is the choice to drive correctly and safely to heaven (Fr. Iko Bajos Oct 23 2013).

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Monday, October 19, 2015

WEDNESDAY OF THE 29TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 12:39-48. UNSA MAY PAGTULON-AN SA SAMBINGAY SA MGA SULUGOON? Kini magpahinumdum kanato nga kitang tanan mga piniyalan sa Dios. Angay kitang mag-amping sa mga butang nga atong gihuptan – sama sa kinabuhi, bahandi ug talento – ug mogamit niini alang sa paghimaya sa Iyang Ngalan. Isip mga piniyalan, gitahasan kita sa pagpalambo ug paggamit sa mga gasa sa Dios alang sa kaayohan sa tanan. Bulahan kita kon gigamit nato og maayo ang mga gasa tungod kay maangkon nato ang ganti sa Langit. Apan, alaot kita kon mag-abuso sa mga gasa ug magdaugdaog sa isigkatawo tungod kay maato ang dakong silot. Adunay nag-ingon: “All around you there are people who are hurting, people who need your love, people who need your encouragement. Let God use your talents and gifts to bless them.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/10/wednesday-of-29th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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October 21, 2015

Wednesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time

Rom 6:12-18, Lk 12:39-48

Prudent and Vigilant Stewards

The clarification that Peter sought from Jesus is a typical doubt we too have: ‘Is it meant for us or for others?’ We have a tendency to believe that unlike others we are entitled to have special privileges and considerations. The other day there was an interesting cartoon on the net: One of the presidential candidates of US, Donald Trump seemed uncompromising, “All illegal immigrants to this country should go back”. Listening to him one of the Indigenous man responds, “Well said sir, tell me when are you going back?” People can easily become blind to their own flaws. Jesus did not clarify the doubt of Peter directly. Instead he answered him using a story about stewards. Jesus often depicted both prudent and imprudent stewards in his parables. In today’s story Jesus mentioned three types of stewards. The prudent stewards were vigilant and zealous in carrying out their duties. Those who failed in their stewardship were belonging to two categories – those who messed up their job deliberately and those who botched inadvertently. Here Jesus endorses a justice system which takes into consideration the cause as well as the effect. In the justice system of Jesus, end does not justify or incriminate the means. According to him both the means and the end should be right.

According to the parable of Jesus our vocation is to be stewards at the service of His Majesty. We are entrusted with three types of blessings – time, talents and treasures. All these three are free gifts and will be with us only for a limited period. They will be taken away from us without any prior warning. Since the availability and the access to these three ‘T’s are limited; those who utilize their given opportunity to the maximum are the winners and the rest losers. Time wasted, talents undiscovered or underdeveloped, and treasures underutilized cannot be recovered. We are not the owners of these three gifts but only their distributers. They are given to us for distribution. All those who come into our life have a right to receive from us what God has entrusted us for free distribution. Offering a loving look, a gentle smile, a soothing word, a helping hand, is not that difficult. However, often people refuse to do that. Because they think nobody deserves anything from them. But, Jesus reminds us, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2015-10-21

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October 19, 2016

Today we are remembering eight of the most heroic martyrs who ever gave their lives for Christ. All eight men were of French origin, all working in the mission area known as New France (now part of Canada and the United States). Six were Jesuit priests and two were unpaid lay helpers. All were martyred between 1642 and 1649—five of them in present-day Canada, and three near Auriesville, N.Y.

These men encountered unimaginable hardships in terms of climate conditions, hunger and exposure to the elements. They covered hundreds of kilometers in fragile canoes made of skin, they had to trek through ­impenetrable forests. They had to learn the difficult language of the Huron Indians. From 1636 to 1641, the mission lived in a constant climate of threats, persecution and ­attempted murder. Only after six years of backbreaking work was Brébeuf able to baptize one healthy adult.

All these men were formed by the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and all had an ardent desire to be united to Christ crucified. Their desire was gloriously fulfilled by their heroic death. Let us ask the Lord for a share in their courage to live out our Christian faith.

schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3678-october-19-2016

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

back to: Wednesday of the 29th Week of the Year

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