0

Serving God

First Reading: Romans 6:12-18

Brothers and sisters:
Sin must not reign over your mortal bodies
so that you obey their desires.
And do not present the parts of your bodies to sin
as weapons for wickedness,
but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life
and the parts of your bodies to God
as weapons for righteousness.
For sin is not to have any power over you,
since you are not under the law but under grace.

What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law
but under grace?
Of course not!
Do you not know that if you present yourselves
to someone as obedient slaves,
you are slaves of the one you obey,
either of sin, which leads to death,
or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?
But thanks be to God that, although you were once slaves of sin,
you have become obedient from the heart
to the pattern of teaching to which you were entrusted.
Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 124:1B-3, 4-6, 7-8

R. (8a) Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Had not the LORD been with us,
let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us–
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive;
When their fury was inflamed against us.

R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us
a prey to their teeth.

R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

We were rescued like a bird
from the fowlers’ snare;
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Gospel: Luke 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied,
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
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.”

NAB

oct 21

Today’s readings remind us that we have been entrusted with much. But with that gift comes a responsibility: We are asked to forsake the slavery to sin and become slaves to righteousness, servants of a faithful master.

But like the bad servant, I often find myself turning to the masters of this world—taking more account of obligations and commitments and to-do lists than preparing my heart for Jesus. I have the best of intentions and check all the boxes, but am I really making myself a slave to righteousness? Or am I more like a slave to obligation?

When I become a slave to obligation, I find that even going to Mass or Confession or a Holy Hour starts to feel like just another thing I need to get done. There are days when I go to adoration and sit thinking about what I need to get done at work tomorrow or get at the grocery store. Rather than laying these earthly concerns Jesus’s feet, I stew on them and sink deeper into slavery to the wrong masters.

Thankfully, the First Reading and Psalm remind us that in serving God, there is true freedom. When my to-do list is exhausting and I find myself running late, dropping the ball, and unable to get it all done, I am shackling myself to the cares of this world.

When I have made my heart a place for Christ, I know that I cannot do it on my own, even when the list is the same. It is by the grace of God that the work gets done. The priorities become clearer. It becomes easier to know when to say no, go home, shut the door, and sit quietly with God.

Jesus doesn’t require a pristine home and a welcome mat that you made after finding it on Pinterest. Jesus requires merciful hearts that welcome Him into our days, every day, awaiting His will.

How can you serve God rather than earthly masters today? Spend a few extra minutes in quiet today, opening your heart to Jesus.

photo by Sara Miller

Brigid Hogan loves the view of the Washington Monument from her apartment, her standing desk, the Green Bay Packers, and a good mystery. She tolerates taking the Metro to the office, where she works as a communications consultant. You can find out more about her here.

No Comments

Leave a Reply