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Much More Will Be Required: Lord, Does This Parable Apply To Us?
By Deacon Keith Fournier
October 24th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Then Peter said - Lord, is this parable meant for us - or for everyone? The disciples of Jesus are accountable for living out their specific vocation in Him, every day. The words which He gives in response to Peter in this Gospel passage are meant for us. We need to listen closely to the parable, especially the sobering last line. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. (Luke 12:48)
CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - Our Gospel passage this morning is taken from the twelfth chapter of St. Luke. At the beginning of the chapter we read that a "crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another" (Luke 12:1)
Jesus begins his discourse by first speaking to his disciples. Throughout the chapter, St. Luke distinguishes between what the Lord teaches the crowds and what he teaches his disciples. The disciples are those whom He has chosen to continue His work after he ascends to the Father.
The disciples are those who have freely given their yes to his invitation to follow after Him. Those, who have heard the voice of the Good Shepherd (John 10:27) and recognize it. Those, who are given the instructions on how to live in the kingdom to come, beginning even now, and are empowered by Jesus to do so.
The Latin word, Vocare, is the root from which we derive the English words voice and vocation. Every one of us has a vocation to follow Jesus Christ. Yes, it is expressed differently, in accordance with our state in life. But, every one of us has been called and summoned by the Lord. We are His disciples today. His words are addressed to us.
The disciples of Jesus are accountable for living out their specific vocation in Him, every day. The words which He gives in response to Peter in this Gospel passage are meant for us. We need to listen closely to the parable, especially the sobering last line.
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. (Luke 12: 39-48)
Today, we should ask ourselves two important questions. First - what has been entrusted to me? Then, a follow up question - what am I doing with it? We need to approach giving the answer to these two questions from the proper vantage point.
I use the somewhat obscure expression - vantage point - with purpose. Though we often hear the phrase, we rarely consider what it truly means.
A "vantage point" is a place or position affording a full, complete and accurate view of something.
We are here today, in Church. We have just heard the Gospel proclaimed. Soon, we will participate in the heavenly banquet, joining with myriads of the faithful and countless scores of heavenly hosts at the wedding feast of the Lamb.
When we are dismissed at the end of Mass, we will not leave Church, we will be Church, sent into the world which God still loves so much that he sends His only Son. (John 3:16). We are His arms, His legs, His message, for a world still waiting to be born again. We have the message of true freedom for an age which longs to be liberated from the shackles of relativism and nihilism. We are sent to a people who long to hear the words of the Master saying, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life." (John 14:6)
God has withheld nothing from us. In Jesus Christ, and in his Body the Church, we have been given everything we could ever ask for or imagine. We are the ones to whom much has been given. Years later, Peter, to whom the Lord specifically responds in this Gospel account, wrote to Christians who were scattered by harsh persecution, "His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (2 Peter 1:3)
John Henry Cardinal Newman penned a beautiful prayer often titled "I have a Mission". Many years ago, my dear wife laminated it for me. Every morning I reflect upon it as I offer Morning Prayer and the Liturgy of the Hours.
I offer it for all of us as we prepare to approach the altar of the Lord. It is a reminder that no matter where we are in life, even in the midst of what may seem to be our deepest struggle; we are still called, chosen and equipped for His mission. We are the ones who have been given much. It has been entrusted to us. Now, much more is required.
Oh My God, you have created me do some definite service. You have committed some work to me that you have not committed to another. I have my mission; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. I will trust you, whatever, wherever I am. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve you. If I am in perplexity, my perplexity may serve you.
If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve you. You do nothing in vain. You know what you are about. Though friends be taken away, though I feel desolate, though my spirits sink, though my future is hidden from me, yet I will trust you, for you know what you are about. I ask not so much to see as to be used: through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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