Catholic Mass Readings
November 13 Tuesday
32ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
It is for you, then, to preach the behavior which goes with healthy doctrine. Older men should be reserved, dignified, moderate, sound in faith and love and perseverance. Similarly, older women should behave as befits religious people, with no scandal-mongering and no addiction to wine — they must be the teachers of right behavior and show younger women how they should love their husbands and love their children, how they must be sensible and chaste, and how to work in their homes, and be gentle, and obey their husbands, so that the message of God is not disgraced. Similarly, urge younger men to be moderate in everything that they do, and you yourself set an example of good works, by sincerity and earnestness, when you are teaching, and by a message sound and irreproachable so that any opponent will be at a loss, with no accusation to make against us. You see, God’s grace has been revealed to save the whole human race; it has taught us that we should give up everything contrary to true religion and all our worldly passions; we must be self-restrained and live upright and religious lives in this present world, waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus. He offered himself for us in order to ransom us from all our faults and to purify a people to be his very own and eager to do good.
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal at once”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper ready; fasten your belt and wait on me while I eat and drink. You yourself can eat and drink afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are useless servants: we have done no more than our duty.”
Jesus used this parable of the dutiful servant to explain that God can never be indebted to us. We must regard ourselves as God’s servants, just as Jesus came “not to be served, but to serve”. Service of God and of neighbor is both a free act and a sacred duty. God expects us to give him the worship and praise which is his due as he gladly accepts the free-will offering of our lives to him and his service. What makes our offering pleasing to God is the love we show in the gift of self. God honours the faithful servant who loves generously. He is ever ready to work through and in us for his glory. We must remember, however, that God can never be indebted to us. We have no claim on him. His love compels us to give him our best! And when we have done our best, we have simply done our duty. We can never outdo God. Does the love of God compel you to give your best?