Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 12, 39-48

You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what time the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house.

You too must stand ready, because the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.'

Peter said, 'Lord, do you mean this parable for us, or for everyone?'

The Lord replied, 'Who, then, is the wise and trustworthy steward whom the master will place over his household to give them at the proper time their allowance of food?

Blessed that servant if his master's arrival finds him doing exactly that.

I tell you truly, he will put him in charge of everything that he owns.

But if the servant says to himself, "My master is taking his time coming," and sets about beating the menservants and the servant-girls, and eating and drinking and getting drunk,

his master will come on a day he does not expect and at an hour he does not know. The master will cut him off and send him to the same fate as the unfaithful.

'The servant who knows what his master wants, but has got nothing ready and done nothing in accord with those wishes, will be given a great many strokes of the lash.

The one who did not know, but has acted in such a way that he deserves a beating, will be given fewer strokes. When someone is given a great deal, a great deal will be demanded of that person; when someone is entrusted with a great deal, of that person even more will be expected.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus once more invites us to live life as a preparation: "Be ready," he tells his listeners. From this Gospel page emerges a person different from the rich man whom death surprised while he thought about his profits. The disciple does not spend his days piling up goods; he lives the whole gamut of his existence waiting for the Lord and his kingdom. The Gospel clarifies this outlook with the parable of the steward put in charge of a household after his master’s departure. The manager, thinking that the master has delayed, begins to hit the male and female servants, to drink and get drunk. It is a scene that at first sight seems exaggerated. In reality, it describes a rather common situation. In the end, the many injustices and the thousands of petty acts of wickedness daily, which make life more difficult for everyone, stem from the widespread attitude of behaving like masters over the lives of others, with the rather myopic thought that, after all, we need not give anyone an account of ourselves. We think we can allow ourselves everything, such as violence, abuses, wars, because the horizon of life begins and ends with ourselves. This is why the Gospel passage proposes that we be wide-awake: "Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives." The one who awaits another remains awake; the one for whom life does not end with the boundaries of his own interests, or with what one can or cannot do, with the boundaries of one’s own thoughts, one’s own body, one’s own feelings. We are called to witness, in the world in which we live, that each day is nourished by expectation and hope and that each person’s life is a gift, a talent for which he will have to render an account. It is written: "From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required." We Christians have been given an awful lot: the Church has been given as a mother and teacher, that family where each day the Lord nourishes us, makes us live and communicates to us his spirit. Yes, "from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded." Many saints, reflecting on watchfulness, have said: "I should live each day as if it were the last." If we all lived each day as if it were the last, I think our life would be different, more humane and more beautiful. It would be fuller, richer, truer, less boring, less desperate. In short, more of a life.