Scripture: Lectionary 475: Romans 6:12-18. Psalm 124:1-3.4-6. Luke
Peter is always in dialogue with Jesus and today is a good example of the
rapport between the Lord and Peter. Though Jesus addresses the other
disciples, it is Peter, an extrovert, who always takes the initiative in
responding to him. Luke captures the scene quite well and makes us
participators in it. The topic of conversation/dialogue is the second
coming of Jesus and servant leadership. Peter is not afraid of either of
the two, but we need the parable like the other disciples in order to
understand the teaching of Jesus in this travel narrative of discipleship
that Luke gives us.
Jesus is giving both advice and motivation to the disciples. They are to
always be prepared for the return of their Master (Jesus) like the good
servant in charge of the household goods. We do not know when the Lord will
come and neither do the angelic beings. We are to be prepared by watchful
expectation and diligent attention to our responsibilities to one another
in the community and church to which we belong.
Can we discern what the demands of servant leadership are? The passage
helps us to do so through an extended parable that unravels the teaching of
Jesus’ wisdom and our necessary motivation through listening to his living
voice. The advice is that we are to keep the goal or purpose of
discipleship ever before us. The realm of God is among us and yet its
fullness is in the resurrected life we all hope for and believe in.
Ultimate intentionality gives us a way of prioritizing our more proximate
and possible goals in our ministry of discipleship. St. Thomas tells us
that “We first work from motivational intentionality in order to execute or
accomplish the one thing that matters—the ultimate goal of being united
with Christ in his glorified realm with the Spirit and the Creator.
Servant leadership demands that we keep the purpose of our call as
disciples alive each day as servants of the Lord, that is, doers of the
words of Jesus. We are being called to be active participators in the
saving mission of Jesus. We are to be other Christs in today’s society.
This is no easy task! Learning from Jesus and from the Church we need to
be well prepared and to do this we need to be motivated by the living words
of Jesus. The parable has to be unraveled if we are to understand our
purpose as disciples. There is urgency about this. The time of the harvest
is at hand; there is no time for “second thinking.”
We have different ministries as disciples of the Lord and thus make
different judgments about the ministry. The call is always there. We must
interiorize the motto of the U.S. Marines: “Semper fidelis” always faithful
and of the Coast Guard: Semper Paratus: always ready. Nor forget the
motivation of “Dead Poets’ Society” namely, “Carpe Diem.” Seize the day.
Take the opportunity to live out what Jesus is telling us. Amen.