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Where Are My Blessings?

Memorial of Saints John de Brebeuf & Isaac Jogues, Priests & Martyrs

First Reading: Ephesians 3:2-12

Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation,
as I have written briefly earlier.
When you read this
you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,
which was not made known to human beings in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy Apostles and prophets by the Spirit,
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same Body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel.

Of this I became a minister by the gift of God’s grace
that was granted me in accord with the exercise of his power.
To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,
and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery
hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God
might now be made known through the Church
to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose
that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech
and confidence of access through faith in him.

Responsorial Psalm: Isaiah 12:2-3, 4BCD, 5-6

R. (see 3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

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-18

“Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,

and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

When I was reading through today’s Gospel before writing, this verse I’ve been reflecting on often in the last few months hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been entrusted with so much just by being born an white middle-class American. I didn’t get to choose the family I was born to, but these privileges have entrusted me with a civic duty to my neighbor — locally and globally.

What can I do to be a responsible steward of these material gifts? I’ve been working to understand that my lens of the world is limited by my own experience. I must continually work to expand my vision and recognize the value and reality of experiences outside my own. Especially in this election year, as I consider my votes on every level, I’m challenged to consider perspectives beside just my own. How can I participate in this democracy in a way that is as life-giving and respectful as possible?

The gift of my baptism has entrusted me with even more. This year, during the Year of Mercy, I’ve continually realized that I will never truly deserve the mercy and love that flows through my life. What can I do to deserve all I have been given? It’s a tall order, but the Works of Mercy are good place to start.

As I try to welcome the stranger, pray for the living and the dead, and feed the hungry, I’ve learned again and again just how much mercy I continually need in my own life. I will never be able to account in this life for the gifts God has entrusted to me, so I call on the gift of mercy in this life. I will never earn that mercy that is poured out on my life, but I will do whatever I can to share that gift with others.

It might sound cliche, but take a moment today to count your blessings and reflect on all that you have been given. How can you put your blessings to work in improving the lives of others?

photo credit

Brigid Hogan is a midwestern graduate student who finds peace in lakes, the Mass, and fiction when she isn’t ensconced in schoolwork. Find out more about her here.

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