13Nov 13 November. Tuesday, Week 32

1st Reading: Titus (2:1-8, 11-14)

Guidelines for living, while awaiting the return of our Saviour

But as for you, (Titus, my loyal child in the faith we share), teach what is consistent with sound doctrine. Tell the older men to be temperate, serious, prudent, and sound in faith, in love, and in endurance. Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, gravity, and sound speech that cannot be censured; then any opponent will be put to shame, having nothing evil to say, us.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Resp. Psalm (Ps 36)

R.: The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

If you trust in the Lord and do good,
then you will live in the land and be secure.
If you find your delight in the Lord,
he will grant your heart’s desire.
(R./)
He protects the lives of the upright,
their heritage will last for ever.
The Lord guides the steps of a man
and makes safe the path of one he loves.
(R./)

Then turn away from evil and do good
and you shall have a home for ever.
The just shall inherit the land;
there they shall live for ever.

(R./)

Gospel: Luke (17:7-10)

Before God, we are merely servants, just doing our duty

Jesus said to them, “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from ploughing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!'”

BIBLE

Applying theory to practice

In his advice to Titus whom he has delegated to lead the Christians in Crete, Paul respects the limits of the church’s local culture, yet also sets our human life within a divine framework. He begins with an appeal that our speech be “consistent with sound doctrine” and explains that the core of this sound doctrine is about the “glory of the great God and of our Saviour Christ Jesus.” What we do on earth will determine how we shall relate to Jesus in his glorious second coming.

In between, Paul is quite pragmatic. Like this epistle, today’s gospel also accepts some social and cultural structures which are not acceptable today. Without critical comment, Jesus refers to slavery and to what a master can expect from the slave. For work well done the master would not necessarily show any gratitude, because the slave was just doing his duty. Of course Jesus was not endorsing slavery as something right and just, and in practice he was preparing the way for its abolition by emphasizing the dignity of every individual. At the end, if we trust him, we will not only understand truth, but we will also be absorbed into the divine life, promising a joy and glory far surpassing our human merits. What will then count is the faith and love we have shown; all else will seem trivial by comparison.


Unprofitable servants

In the ancient world, slaves who did their duty did not expect to be thanked for it. Doing their job did not put their master under any obligation. Something similar can be said about our relationship with God. We are called to serve God by our lives. We serve God by our worship, our efforts to walk in the way of his Beloved Son, to love one another as Jesus has loved us.

We try to answer this calling as best we can, day in and day out. Our efforts to be faithful do not put God under obligation to us. At the end of the day, we have no claim on God, even after we have done all that life requires of us. In a sense, we always come before God with empty hands, in spiritual poverty. No matter how well we have done in life, we are always beggars in God’s presence. An awareness of our own poverty can open us up to receive more from God’s fullness. It is in becoming like little children that we enter the kingdom of God. In the words of Mary’s Magnificat, God feeds the hungry with good things, but the rich he sends empty away.

3 Responses

  1. Chester Pesmark

    Thank you for these weekday homilies. I am a first year Deacon Candidate and these help me with my thoughts for my Reflections for Communion Services.

  2. Arnold Basaya

    Thanks for this great site! I think God is calling me to read His Word everyday, and thanks to Him because there’s a reflection here. May the Lord guide all the staff of this site!

    Pax +

  3. Rose Oliveira

    We try to answer this calling as best we can, day in and day out. Our efforts to be faithful do not put God under obligation to us. At the end of the day, we have no claim on God, even after we have done all that life requires of us. In a sense, we always come before God with empty hands, in spiritual poverty. No matter how well we have done in life, we are always beggars in God’s presence. An awareness of our own poverty can open us up to receive more from God’s fullness. It is in becoming like little children that we enter the kingdom of God. In the words of Mary’s Magnificat, God feeds the hungry with good things, but the rich he sends empty away.

    The above paragraph made me sad to the fact that someone wrote that God feeds the hungry with good things but the rich he sends away empty !!!!. Or that we are all beggars in God’s presence. This can betaken the wrong way as he made us in his likeness and he treats us all the same with love and respect . The poor or the rich all need equally God’s love , kindness and blessings . Do not mean any disrespect to the writer
    God bless .

Leave a Reply

Keep the following in mind when writing a comment

  • Your comment must include your full name, and email. (email will not be published). You may be contacted by email, and it is possible you might be requested to supply your postal address to verify your identity.
  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger. Comments containing vulgarities, personalised insults, slanders or accusations shall be deleted.
  • Keep to the point. Deliberate digressions don't aid the discussion.
  • Including multiple links or coding in your comment will increase the chances of it being automatically marked as spam.
  • Posts that are merely links to other sites or lengthy quotes may not be published.
  • Brevity. Like homilies keep you comments as short as possible; continued repetitions of a point over various threads will not be published.
  • The decision to publish or not publish a comment is made by the site editor. It will not be possible to reply individually to those whose comments are not published.

 


Scroll Up