Dear brothers and sisters,
Jesus speaks in today’s Gospel (Luke 12:35-48) is about vigilance, and this part of Jesus’ discourse balances out what he said a few verses earlier about not worrying. In those verses (12:22-34) he instructed his listeners not to fret about worldly concerns, but to trust in God’s Providence. However, God knows that some people will tend to turn that invitation into an excuse for laziness, irresponsibility, and hedonism; so now he shows the other side of the coin. “You also must be prepared,” he tells his followers, like servants standing ready for the return of their master any minute. We can’t cram for life’s final exam. If we want to live in communion with God forever, to experience the fulfillment he promises in this life and the next, we need to make friendship with God the number one priority of our lives. The good things of this earthly life, its pleasures, challenges, and occupations, will come to an end when the Master returns. To live as if they were going to last forever, therefore, is foolish. Christ wants to make sure we don’t act like fools. Jesus finishes his parable by telling us that, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more” (12:48). With this, he teaches us that every human life is a task, a mission to know, love, and serve God in a unique way. Our lives will take on their true meaning to the extent that we carry out that task and fulfill that mission, to the extent that our “treasure” (what we most value and desire) consists not in the passing pleasures of this life, but in discovering and fulfilling that supernatural task and mission.