by:Bobot Apit

Oct 20, 2010 - Wednesday Meditation (To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required!) 
Today’s gospel is hard to hear – severe punishment for those “who knew the master’s will and yet did not act in accordance with it,” especially for those who are given the gift of faith and are in a position to serve and influence others. To whom much is given, much is required! 
Wednesday of the29th Week in Orinary Time 
Ephesians 3:2-12 
Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6 
Luke 12:39-48 But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour." 41 Peter said, "Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?" 42 And the Lord said, "Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,' and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and  drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who
knew his master's will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. 48 But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more. 
Meditation by Diane Jorgensen 
With all the waiting we do, one would think we would be good at it, that is, that we would more frequently bring a serene spirit, a peaceful heart and a quiet mind to the task of waiting.  We have so much experience with it….we wait for the weather to cool off or warm up, we wait in lines for groceries and gas, we wait for the light to turn green and for the end of the day or the end of the week so we can relax and play. But, we are hardly ever in the present moment, waiting patiently, enjoying this breath; this moment of life.  More often we are anxious and restless, eager for the time “when”, rushing headlong toward…. well, what exactly? 
Today’s gospel is hard to hear – severe punishment for those “who knew the master’s will and yet did not act in accordance with it,” especially for those who are given the gift of faith and are in a position to serve and influence others.  It’s easy for us to dismiss this notion of God… as one who is just waiting for us to slip up and misbehave so we can be caught off guard, and then lose our “reward” or worse, receive “punishment.  We are tempted to say there is nothing here that can apply to us. These passages, and others in the chapter, reflect Luke’s understanding of the “end time” and Jesus’ return. I imagine that so many years after Jesus’ death, people were growing tired of waiting for his return, and losing their enthusiasm for living fully the Christian life. Jesus exhorts his followers to depend on God, not to count on material wealth, and to be always ready and watchful. Is Luke, in the parables and teachings of
Jesus, addressing that impatience and subsequent apathy about living in the Kingdom? Were they, like us, wanting more tangible gratifications of their faithfulness? More immediate results to motivate their continued faithfulness?  Perhaps they were asking, “Why should we be faithful, and act like good stewards, when Jesus isn’t here yet? It seems like I have plenty of time, I’ll clean up my act later.”  Luke is encouraging them, especially the leaders among them, and us, to live NOW the way  we will want to be found by Jesus when he comes… faithful, trusting, as if the Kingdom has already come, because, in a sense, it has. 
The first reading reminds us of this – Paul writes that he was given a grace to preach, “to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery hidden from ages past in God who created all things, so that the manifold wisdom of God might NOW be made known”. Daily, we “draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.” We have been given the gift of faith to live the kingdom NOW and transform this world; our faith is not a set of rules to navigate, a strategy to “win” the game. 
Am I faithful to living – and acting - God’s dream for us now, even while waiting for fulfillment of God’s dream for us?    
Supplementary Reading 
Lovingly Forgive 
"But with You (God) there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve You." -Psalm 130:4 
Forgiveness is nonjudgmental love. That's the only real love. Most people love judgmentally: I'll love you if you agree with me politically. I'll love you if you'll start living a cleaner life. If you don't meet my expectations, I will not love you. 
Even though we may not believe in God, He still loves us non-judgmentally. There are no "ifs" in God's love for you and me! 
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that if we love only the people that agree with us, what is so great about that? Even scoundrels and crooks love their fellow crooks. Jesus went on to say that genuine love is shown when God allows the sun to shine on the just and the unjust, and His rain to fall on the good as well as the evil. 
That may seem unjust to you, but let me assure you, this concept is filled with mercy. And there will always be a tension between justice and mercy! If you are having difficulty forgiving someone because "what they did is just not right," let me encourage you to forgive as you have been forgiven. 
Dear Lord, help me to be nonjudgmental. Help me to love and forgive others as You love and forgive me. Thank You for the gift of forgiveness. Amen. - R Schuller