We Are Servants Waiting For The Master’s Arrival
We are one in our weaknesses, one also in God’s love and in the salvation he offers us in Christ in the solidarity of grace. Sinners and saints at the same time, the enemy in us and paradise within us, we long to be saved by Christ now, to transcend our doubts, our different forms of selfishness, our sufferings, our divisions within ourselves and our separations from one another. Yet it is in this kind of life, within this torn human destiny, that Christ will save us, if with him we accept his life and grace.
In the gospel Jesus exhorts his disciples to vigilance. They are like servants who should always be ready for the master’s call.
1 Reading: Romans 5:12, 15b, 17-19, 20b-21
Brothers and sisters: Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned. If by that one person’s transgression the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many. For if, by the transgression of the one, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ. In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so, through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of the one the many will be made righteous. Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 40:7-8a, 8b-9, 10, 17
R. (8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.” R.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!” R.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know. R.
May all who seek you
exult and be glad in you,
And may those who love your salvation
say ever, “The LORD be glorified.” R.
Alleluia: Luke 21:36
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Be vigilant at all times and pray
that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel: Luke 12:35-38
Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.”
Today’s reading from Romans is the classical contrast between the disintegration inherited from Adam and the reintegration that comes from Christ. The one man, Adam, introduced sin to the world; with sin came death. Death passed to every human being in as much as all sinned. Through one man’s sin, all inherited condemnation, since they in turn ratified by their own conduct the sin of the first man. The conclusion is a tragic one; because one man disobeyed, all then have become sinners, and sin has reigned in death.
Yet, in this dire situation, God’s remedy was already at hand. In the coming of Jesus the damage inflicted by Adam is overcome, and in abundance. The gift of Christ is justification and life; humanity is acquitted of its sinfulness and saved from damnation. If disobedience brought death and tragedy, so through the obedience of one man, justification has come to the many. Where sin may have proliferated, now grace is more than abundant. Sin brought death; grace has brought justification and life eternal in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Now what God asks of us is vigilance. We do not know when the master will return from the wedding. He may come at the first, second, or third watch. When he finds his servants alert and waiting, he will render them able service. In other words, the faithful will be received into glory.
The lesson is clear. We have been immensely favoured. Death has been overcome. We now live in the Spirit.
If we would accept more readily our solidarity in sin, our responsibility for evil in the world, many evils would be overcome and we would be more united also in justice and mercy, forgiveness and peace. May God make you more one in grace and bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!