The Gospel according to 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.”
Reading today’s Gospel can cause one to think of more than one possible meaning for Jesus’ telling His disciples to be alert and vigilant. On the one hand, it can speak to Jesus’ Second Coming, when He returns in glory at the end of the age. Certainly the rest of the reading speaks to that, too, where the Master will “wait on them”, hinting at the celebration of joining with Jesus in heaven.
I would like to reflect for a moment about another possible reading of this passage – how we are called to be ready to serve Jesus now – today – in whatever way He may call us. Our lives are certainly complicated, right? We have no end of demands upon us from family, work, church, and so on. It is so easy to get weighed down by those well-meaning obligations that we fail to listen for when God calls us to be of service to Him. Maybe we think that God will call us using some impressive event that can only capture our attention and remind us of our call to serve. If we do wait for that, we are much more likely to miss that call.
God calls us in the small activities of daily life. He calls us to serve His children by sharing a kind word with someone we meet at the supermarket, or while walking around our neighborhood. He calls us to serve by answering a call from a friend in need who needs an understanding, compassionate ear.
I’ve discovered in my experience that He also calls us when we don’t necessarily feel like being of service. “Come on, Lord, I’m *tired*! Can’t someone *else* do this?” What I’ve learned is that pretty much every time I have that response, I know for sure that it’s God calling me, and that I should respond in love and kindness. Because, when I respond in those occasions, it’s definitely the Holy Spirit working thorugh me that is acting, not any of my own strength. And, that’s a very good reminder of not getting proud at all at how “good” I may think I am!
Action for the Day:
Watch for those occasions today where you can act in love in all those small ways that we take for granted. And if God calls you when you think you’re too tired to respond, respond anyway! God won’t call you for anything that the Holy Spirit won’t give you what you need to respond!
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