Who is the prudent and faithful servant…
You gotta love Peter. I don’t know if this is the way Peter really was or if it’s just that the Gospels have him saying crazy things. He’s always saying crazy things, and this is one of his best; ‘Lord, are you talking to us or are you talking to everybody?’ And I love the Lord’s answer; ‘yeah, this is for everybody but I’m talking to you right now.’ You need to hear this. You need to understand…. Peter is a symbol for all of us. We need to hear and we need to understand. When the Lord is talking to everybody, He is talking to us, personally, too.
I know, you’re saying this is not about me. This is about the prudent and faithful servant whom the master has put in charge… That’s got to be Peter. Right? He was the first pope! To think that, is to ignore the fact that Peter didn’t ask “Is this parable for me?” He asked, “Is this parable for us?” Then Jesus talks directly to each one of us. He puts each of us in charge. We are all called upon to be the prudent and faithful servant. We are the ones He expects to distribute the food allowance at the proper time! Jesus is looking at each and every one of us and saying, “I’m talking to you!”
OK, so what is the food allowance and what is the proper time? The food allowance is God’s love. That’s the service God wants us to perform; being an instance of His love for the other. That’s what people are hungry for. It is not about volunteering at a soup kitchen so you can check off your volunteer hours and feel good about yourself. It is about encountering the other and making them feel good about that moment in their lives.
You can do that at a soup kitchen… you can do that at the family dinner table… you can do that at Starbucks or at the gas station or on the street. You can do that with an approving glance, or with an embrace, or by helping to change a tire, or by giving a couple of bucks to the person who begs. We can do that in so many different ways… we just need to do it. It is the food allowance that the servants are supposed to give out. It is what God’s little ones are hungering for.
And when is the proper time? Whenever the Lord puts someone in need in front of us. And here’s the soup kitchen again; we can’t just say that we will volunteer at the soup kitchen once a month and feel like we’re doing our job. We also have to pay attention to people’s hungers as the Lord sends them to us. It’s not on any schedule except the Lord’s schedule. And the Lord’s schedule doesn’t seem to care about our schedules. When He sees someone in need and sees that we are capable of fulfilling that need, he puts them together with us, even when we don’t think we are capable of fulfilling that need. Even when we feel we don’t have the time or energy to deal with their problems. The proper time is His time; no excuses.
Peter would have to ask the question. I don’t know why he asked the question but I get the Lord’s answer. It’s for everybody and it’s for each one of us personally. We are all in this together and we all have to do our part; no excuses.
“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.” Lk 12:42b-44
What words or phrases grabbed your attention during the Liturgy of the Word on Sunday? What connection do those words or phrases have to your day-to-day life? (Why do you think they grabbed your attention?) What might God be trying to say to you through these words or phrases? What response should you make? What action should you take?
Share about/Reflect upon a time when you had to pay close attention in order to respond to changing situations. How is this similar to paying attention to the needs of the people God places in your path? What do you need to change in your life in order to be able to pay closer attention to people? What can
Verse by Verse
- Lk 12:32|”your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom”, means He is pleased to put you in charge of the kingdom (ABS Handbook). This is like the Queen of England making someone a prince or duke or whatever.
- Lk 12:35-38|”Be like servants who await their master’s return…”, indicates that this charge is exercised through service.
- Lk 12:33 & 34|”Sell your belongings and give alms…”, evidently means to get rid of that which gets in the way of your serving in the kingdom (Allowing God to reign in your life). Make a complete change and devote yourself to the Kingdom
- Lk 12:47&48|”That servant who knew his master’s will…”, indicates that this message is for those of us who understand. If we understand, we must be vigilant & faithful
- Lk 12:42-46|”Is this meant for us or for everyone…”, It’s up to you. You can take it as meaning it is for everyone, including you, and be assigned a place among the faithful or you can take it to mean it is just for people higher up than you and be assigned a place with the unfaithful.