October 24, 2018
(St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop)
Jesus said, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” Lk_12:39-48
As the worker bee who always seemed to get the blame, and not the credit, there were days in my former job that I would have loved to have quoted that verse to my boss: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” especially when he refused to purchase a $10 part that would have prevented a major breakdown.
Be prepared, Jesus tells us. Isn’t that the truth! And here we get to practice it every day of our lives! Be prepared for the police car, hiding around the corner. Be prepared for the hurricane or the fire that, hopefully, will never come. Be prepared for the thief, or the Jehovah’s Witness, or even the Lord who will one day be knocking at OUR door.
From the time we were little kids, all the way up to that last breath we just took, we’ve been warned: to BE prepared, to expect surprises, and to keep a level head when they come.
We might say that the Apostle Paul was the perfect example of how to respond to surprises. Being unprepared for that first encounter with Jesus, Paul, or actually the Holy Spirit working through Paul, never let unpreparedness slow him down again. Whether it was imprisonment, or shipwreck, or persecution, opposition, or even execution, Paul was READY!
And yet, Paul was more than just ready for his OWN salvation. Being entrusted with the highest possible calling: the salvation of the world, Paul was fearless in approaching the resistant Jews, the Godless Gentiles, the Roman rulers and everyone else he encountered, with that beautiful, Gospel Message of God’s love for them all, through their faith in Jesus.
And you know what, beloved, we’ve been given that same call! WE are the ones of whom Jesus said, are “entrusted with still more,” through our Baptisms. And we ARE being prepared, just by being here, today.
The question is, are WE, like St. Paul, allowing the Holy Spirit, who resides in us, to use us as His messengers to the world? You see, we know the potential cost to ourselves, just as Paul did. And we also know of that undeniable reward of Eternal Life that Jesus promised for all His faithful.
But, is that love of His, so strong, in our hearts that we would not even want to see that thief, that Jehovah’s Witness, that boss, or even that worst enemy of ours, NOT merit the same Eternal Life of salvation in Jesus, that we’ve been so freely given? You know, WE may, just BE their only hope!
And, ALL that we are called to do is to get out-of-the-way and let the Holy Spirit work through us. You see, it’s not only required, but it’s demanded of us, beloved. And when we can follow that simple instruction, to move aside, and let the Holy Spirit lead, we truly will discover a ‘wellspring of joy’ within us, despite every challenge we encounter and along with every smile we offer!
___________________end of post