Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
In my hometown of Cincinnati we have an unfinished subway. Begun early in the 20th century, it consists of a couple of stations and some miles of tunnels. It was abandoned before train tracks were even installed, and probably will never be used for its original purpose. We Cincinnatians like to joke about it, but in the late 1950’s and ‘60’s, the unfinished subway did serve an unexpected purpose. For a time, during those years when we all feared that an atomic war might break out, part of the abandoned subway tunnels were outfitted to be a fallout shelter, complete with beds and supplies of food and water. It was an attempt at preparedness that, fortunately, was never tested.
Today’s Gospel is about preparedness and having our priorities straight. It’s a message Saint Luke intended for his community to hear. They lived some 30 or 40 years after the time of Jesus. Perhaps they were becoming complacent. Luke wanted them to hear Jesus’ stern words about being prepared for the Master’s return. He also wanted them to hear Christ’s admonition about priorities. The leaders in Luke’s community were especially to pay attention: When more is entrusted to you, more will be expected.
These gospel truths shouldn’t be buried away like Cincinnati’s unfinished subway. Let’s allow them to live in our hearts every day.
The first reading offers thoughts, from a Hebrew perspective, about how God set the Israelites free from slavery in Egypt. In some ways, was how God treated the Egyptians unfair?
It is difficult to understand the events of the exodus and of all human history. We can only look at things from our context today. Should we still celebrate the Passover? Why or why not?
In this week's second reading, how does the book of Hebrews describe faith?
Do you and your family believe that God will take care of you, as he cared for Abraham and his descendants?
In the Gospel, Jesus talks about how we ought to place our hope in God. Then he tells the parable of how we should be like servants who are waiting for the return of our master (the Lord). Do we know when our master will return?
Do you think that more is expected of those to whom more has been given? If so, what does that mean?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
The Gospel gives the message of proceeding and then waiting. You can emulate that with a fun game of "stop and go." For this game, everyone lines up and when the person in charge says "go," you start running. When he or she says, "Stop," you have to come to a complete halt. The goal is to be the first person to cross the finish line. You can do this for as long or as far as you want. Take turns being the person calling out the directions.
Normally before guests arrive at our homes, we do a bit of cleaning. Use this week's Gospel as a prompt for the whole family to do some cleaning around the house together. Either do your normal cleaning routine, or take on a larger task that has been waiting for you to find more time.