NINETEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Gospel: Luke 12:32-48 Dressed for action
Jesus regularly emphasises the importance of waiting. The sort of waiting he has in mind, however, does not mean sitting around until something happens – it means ‘active waiting’, and there is an art to it. In today’s parable, Jesus emphasises the importance of being dressed for action with ‘lamps lit’, like servants waiting for the master to return from a wedding feast. The ideal servants are industrious, looking after others as they wait to welcome their master, while the less worthy servants, forgetting their purpose, are distracted by trivial things and engage in mistreating others.
The early Christians must have eagerly listened to this parable, as they were expecting Jesus to return very soon and eager to be ready. What can it say to us today? In this digital age, we have endless options for entertainment. At the touch of a screen, we can fill our minds with news, social events, videos and games: our smart technologies have literally become an extension of our arms. We can seldom claim to be bored or idle. But are we living present, vigilant lives? Are we giving our full care and attention to those we live with and their needs? Are we awake to Gods presence in the vibrancy of life around us, in all of creation?
Jesus finished his parable with a warning for those who know what is required ‘but did not prepare’. This may resonate with us. We tend to postpone serious reflection about our life and habits, thinking we have plenty of time. We distract ourselves and avoid really living in the fullness of life with our lamps lit and our minds always tuned to God. Copyright © Triona Doherty & Jane Mellett, 2021
“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now … Generally speaking, now is a good as time as any” Hugh Laurie