Year C: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospel: Luke 12: 32-48
This Gospel takes up the theme Jesus began last week - setting store on our treasure in heaven rather than being bound to our material treasures here on earth.
He also speaks of the need to be ready for His return.
Again, this is not a theme that would be popular holiday reflection. We know what life here is like - and feel afraid when we think about judgement and readiness for the Second Coming - or death. This is partly because of our fear of the unknown and partly because of the strain of always “being ready” - surely we are allowed to relax sometimes?!
As we remembered in last week’s Gospel, Jesus knew how to relax and does not really expect us to be constantly busy about His business. Like Him, we need time for refreshment and renewal - burnt out servants don’t make good servants.
We need to find a balance that today’s society does not make easy.
We live at a time when some people have too much work - and some have too much leisure. It is harder and harder to keep a healthy balance - but human beings need both.
As Christians, we have been given a great deal - a lot of it on trust. Our faith is given to us as a treasure for heaven - but we don’t always cherish it as one. We know that our lives - our gifts - our families are all treasures - but, again, we don’t always give them the respect and love they deserve. One day, we will be called to account for how we have looked after what we have been given. We will also be asked how we have helped others.
In some ways this is a frightening prospect - who can possibly feel confident that they have done their duty and stood ready enough to be judged?
But fear or anxiety should be only part of the story. At the beginning of the Gospel, Jesus refers again to the treasures in heaven that await us. Alongside the accounting and judgement, there will also be the question - did you enjoy all that you were given? Did you make time for all the good things God wanted you to experience? Did you take it for granted? Did you share the good things I gave you on trust with other people so that they could enjoy them too?
What does it mean for me?
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