Gospel Reflection Nov 29 – Fr. Morris
Sunday, November 29
First Sunday of Advent
Mark 13: 33-37
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”
The cook is to attend to the kitchen, the stable boys to the animals, the steward to the management of the estate, and the gatekeeper to security. The master leaves each of his servants with ‘their own work’ that they are responsible for, and assigns duties based on their skills, backgrounds, and experiences. All the servants are to watch for the master’s return, but only the gatekeeper will literally be watching. The rest of the servants are called to attend to the duties before them, and in that way to be “keeping watch,” to have all aspects of the house ready for the master’s return. They will keep watch “from their duty posts,” and despite the master’s absence are expected by him to continue in their normal jobs and routines.
The master will be pleased to return to a home in the middle of night and find the pantry stocked and the pots clean, the animals bedded down and brushed, the house cleaned, in good repair, and locked up. Despite the seeming mediocrity of their respective responsibilities, each of the servants plays a role in making the sure their master’s return to his home is a happy one!
May we “mind our own business” as well—not attending through gossip or morbid curiosity or detraction to other peoples’ lives –but focusing first on keeping the “house” entrusted to us in order. We each have been given a duty to discharge, and it is there that our individual call to holiness will be fulfilled. We build up the universal Church when we attend to the demands of our respective vocations and love without reserve our own domestic church and our local parish community.
Fr. Matthew Morris