October 23, 2019
(St. John of Capistrano, Priest)
Continuing on His theme of vigilance, preparedness and righteousness, Jesus’ parable of the faithful and prudent steward today ends: “That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. 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
Jesus speaks today, of the requirements and the demands of being God’s servants. And He tells us that there will be no slackers!
By our baptisms, beloved, we have become those servants. We may be ignorant of ALL of the requirements of the Old and New Testaments and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but, at the very least, we are aware of God’s call to love one another. And yet, Jesus tells us that ignorance does not get us off the hook, allowing us to get away with hatred, when we know that we’re supposed to love – or at least not hate. This is the Law that God wrote in every one of our hearts.
On the other hand, if we’ve grown anywhere beyond our infant baptism in the Church, we are now called to even greater responsibilities. We are called to help our fellow humanity in their needs (Christian or not). We are called to teach others the meaning of God’s love, and how it helps us all to feel better about ourselves. And we are called to avoid sin.
Now that last one may be a little more difficult, because out there in the world there is a whole army devoted to tripping us up into sin. Hatred and revenge fill our movie and TV plots. The news is filled with all the evil in the world. Evil that sparks more hatred in our hearts, even to the extreme of our displeasure with the weather and naturally occuring events. We become so over-sensitized to everything that is not exactly to our liking that absolutely nothing is EVER to our liking.
You see, that hatred is the root and cause of our – not only hating inanimate objects and conditions, but then, even our own brothers and sisters who, by no cause of their own, are a little different from us.
We may blame our anger and hatred and dissatisfaction with everything, on our human nature, but that is not the nature that God has imbued in our souls. And we can know that, with absolute certainty, by the battle that rages within us when we have those bitter feelings, those sins.
You see, nobody needs to beat us up, whether lightly or severely, because of our divergence from God’s Law of Love, we do it ourselves. And it hurts a lot more when we know we’re doing wrong, than when we’re not aware of it. And even if we’re not aware of our wrong-doing, we’ll find out soon enough through its consequences.
So, how do we escape that world of enticement to sin? Well, thanks be to God for His love, in sending Jesus, who redeems us. And thanks be to God for Jesus, sending the Holy Spirit to guide us in righteousness. And thanks be to God for His Church, who leads us in prayer, in knowledge, and in holiness through the Sacraments. Jesus never said that this worldly life would be easy. God knows, it wasn’t easy for Him. But, thanks be to God, as Catholic Christians we can not only make the best of it, but we can make it better for those who have yet to know Him.
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