21st Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday

In today’s Gospel Our Lord concludes his criticism of the Pharisees with a call to vigilance in the service of God. The example of the master returning to evaluate his servant’s stewardship can not only be applied to when Our Lord returns in glory at the end of time, but also to when we are judged by him at the end of our earthly life. We are stewards of everything we have received, and we have received everything, even life itself: not only material possessions, but relationships, the time given us, and the talents we have received. We are stewards of these gifts and Our Lord has great expectations for us.

Like the faithful servant we will be rewarded for responsible stewardship. However, there are consequences if we are not responsible stewards of the possessions, relationships, time, and talents that we have received. These passing things can enslave us and make us forget our obligations, and part of the pain that results from making them the end instead of the means is being separated from them forever due to our irresponsibility, like and addict deprived of his drugs. Jesus today encourages the disciples to be faithful stewards of the gifts he’s bestowing on them, not like the Pharisees who have squandered those gifts for their own conceited benefit and will have them taken away.

Let’s take stock of life today and see what gifts Our Lord has bestowed upon us and how he would feel if today he came and asked us to make an account for how we’ve used them.

Readings: 1 Thessalonians 3:7–13; Psalm 90:3–5a, 12–14, 17; Matthew 24:42–51.