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Luke 12:39-48

The Word of God

'But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.'
Peter said, 'Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?' And the Lord said, 'Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says to himself, "My master is delayed in coming", and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.

Luke 12:39-48
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The Gospel reading today, like the previous reading, is warning us to be alert and ready for the moment of Christ's return. It has an even darker message that the preceeding text, with hints of violence in the way the bad servant behaves, and in the punishment he can expect to receive. The servant will be 'cut in pieces', and severely beaten.
    • The central point in this text is the need to be attentive and alert. The passage is a call to responsibility. If we know what is expected of us, but we fall short, then we will be held to greater account, especially if our actions are cruel or unjust. This is nevertheless a disturbing, uncomfortable reading.
    • Perhaps I need to spend a bit longer with it than with other readings which give me more consolation. Pray that the Lord will enable this curious text to bear fruit within me, so that I may be more gentle, wise, and compassionate, especially in times of stress.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The disciples still haven’t understood Jesus’ message about being ready. The drama of Jesus’ parable is perhaps a bit exaggerated in order to stress its importance. Peter is trying to figure out if the story is supposed to refer directly to himself and the other apostles or does Jesus mean the relationship between God and Israel in general. Both are implied.
    • When it comes to leadership and those who are in authority in the community of believers, the parable points out how much more they have to account for because of their trusted positions of power.
    • I could pray around the questions of where my own responsibilities lie and whether I fulfil them in a loving and committed way.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus never tells us to be afraid of his coming, for he comes to save us. But he does insist that we must be watchful not to be caught unawares or unprepared. I do that by living the present moment as fully as I can, trying to be as aware as I can of the presence of God in every moment of my life.
    • I pray for the grace to be aware of all my gifts, and of the responsibility they bring with them. I ask that this be always a source of joy and gratitude for me, and never a burden.
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    • Disturbing events, like a robbery, catching us by surprise, affects us deeply. If only I had taken precautions and paid attention. We often blame ourselves for not having been alert enough.
    • Today we are reminded to pay attention to the importance of our lives and to avoid waking up when it’s too late.
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    • Remaining alert doesn’t mean living in a state of nervous anxiety. Perhaps it’s like a tuned in radio or a properly configured email account which is ready to receive any message that arrives. Could there be settings in my life I need to adjust or tune more finely? Are there filters I need to help me not to be distracted by less important signals?
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    • The parable shows Jesus’ awareness that authority and power can be abused. God hears the cry of the poor who are being dominated. He will not ‘cut to pieces’ such people, but their hearts will have to be torn open until they ask forgiveness of their victims and become reconciled.
    • Bless my work, Lord. Together with all other members of the Sacred Space community, may I be just in all my dealings and never disrespectful.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Today’s Gospel continues the message of being awake, alert and ready. Each day is a microcosm of life, and we are called to live it as fully and as meaningfully as possible. ‘The glory of God is the human person fully alive!’ So says Saint Irenaeus.
    • Jesus often says that it is the person who is responsible and trustworthy in small things who is most suitable for being put in charge of greater things. Do I attend responsibly to the seemingly insignificant things in my daily life?
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    • ‘Being ready’ means that I try to respond to the ways God is working in my life and around me. I ask that I may not slow down the advance of the kingdom of God.
    • The kingdom of God is all about fostering good relationships and helping to repair damaged ones. Whatever truly builds up the community of God will receive God’s reward. I pray to serve others well.
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    • Prayer times are our moments of being ready - in common worship, personal prayer time, casual moments. The Lord can touch our lives with a mood of peace, a challenge or a word of the Scripture at any time. Openness to God is the fruit of prayer, and requires little human competence. Prayer is God's gift to us and God's work within us.