The servant’s duty

Sunday readings in brief 27 C

Hab 1:2-3,2:2-4; Ps 94(95); 2 Tim 1:6-8,13-14; Lk 17:5-10

The servant’s duty

Dear friends, today is the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today the readings are talking about the duty of a servant and the value of remaining steadfast and faithful. Being a good person is not very difficult the difficulty lies in remaining faithful all the time especially when faced with challenges and injustices.

In the first reading, Prophet Habakkuk is lamenting the suffering of the just people while the wicked go scold free. During his time, the Babylonians occupied Israel and took the people into captivity. God answered him in a vision and assured him that he would intervene but in his own time. What was required for the just man was that he might remain faithful. The time of God is always the right time though we find it difficult to wait for God to intervene and seek intervention from other powers.

This is where many of us find difficulties in our following of Christ. We always start very well and as long as things are going our way, we remain faithful. However, as soon as challenges set in, we begin losing faith and sometimes we are completely lost in our path.

In second the reading, St. Paul urges Timothy to remain firm because the gift of God given to him was not a spirit of timidity. In this world, we have many well-intended people but some of them are afraid to do the right thing because of the circumstances around them. Some are also ashamed of witnessing Christ and His Good News because of the company they keep.

I remember vividly one day some years ago we had the procession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in one small town in one country in Europe. In the procession, we had only one layman while the others were women. As we marched on the streets, we met some men who were friends to layman with us. One of them asked him, “Carlos” not his real name, “It means that you too have involved yourself in these things also?” Carlos did not reply but I could see his face dropping as he marched past them carrying the statue of the Virgin. This is what happens to many who once were committed parishioners and that today are ashamed of even going to Church on Sundays. They are afraid that their friends might laugh at them or segregate them.

In the Gospel, Jesus is talking about the duty given to each one of us and the attitude that is required towards it. The problem is that many seek extra privileges for performing what is dutiful to them. Take for instance a public officer paid a good salary to serve the people but who seeks extra favours before rendering the services. This is what cripples development in society.

Others complain always while performing the duties pertaining to the vocation or career they themselves chose. In our society, there are those who have chosen to be parents and bring up their children, others have chosen to become priests and religious to take care of God’s people and others have chosen public positions to serve their nations. If all of us perform our duties without lamenting or seeking extra favours and privileges other than those due to us, our world would be better. The time wasted by delays in service delivery while seeking favours slows down the growth of the economy. It is evident that in nations where there is less corruption public service is efficient and their economies are better.

Dear friends, as we reflect upon the message from the readings today, let us introspect and see if we are performing the duties pertaining to our specific vocations and careers faithfully. Maybe we are contributing to the growth of society or we are slowing it down seeking favours and privileges.

Have a blessed Sunday

Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD

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