Recently, I helped coordinate and celebrate two major gatherings
in my extended family – a reunion of my mother’s side
of the family and the 65th wedding anniversary of my parents.
So, the emphasis on the importance of the servants’ readiness
for the arrival of the head of the household in today’s gospel
sparked a bit of anxious memories. Did we plan for enough food?
How many guests will come? Would everyone enjoy themselves? Did
we forget anything and/or anyone in our planning? What would the
weather be like?
Obviously, some of these questions need to be addressed by any host(ess).
Yet, in this chapter in Luke’s gospel, the importance on the
servants’ readiness is more about ongoing preparedness, rather
than getting ready for a special event. It is about an absolute
trust in God’s loving goodness and presence. Unlike our attention
to detail so as to not forget anything or anyone, this gospel chapter’s
larger context sends a message that God is always there for us.
We need not get bogged down by the minutiae of life so much as to
try to be open to God’s love in our midst. Perhaps this story
is not so much about us, as it is about God’s invitation to
‘lighten up’ on ourselves in our day to day worries
and to be ever open to God’s presence in our lives.
In the first reading from Romans, we are reminded that we have been
gifted with the unbelievable reality that God loves us…even
in our frailties and vulnerabilities. From the beginning of time,
humans have made mistakes and misjudgments. Yet, though we know
that we are all capable of sin, we really need to emphasize the
greater truth that God loves us so much that Jesus came to live
among us. Through the Paschal mystery of Christ’s life, death
and resurrection, we are invited,… no, perhaps we are commanded
to focus on God’s healing spirit of forgiveness and love,
evidenced through Jesus’ life, words, actions and being God’s
living love among us.
Even today’s psalm will not let us forget that God’s
wondrous love for us has no bounds. It is God who wants no sacrifice
or oblation, no holocaust or sacrifice for sin, but rather for us
to open our ears and our hearts to God’s loving kindness.
The gift of God among us through the Holy Spirit’s presence
is where we really need to focus our attention. All we have to do
is say, “Here I am! I have come!”, just as the psalmist
does in today’s song of praise.
Perhaps as I re-enter a saner schedule following the whirlwind of
family celebrations, I will try to remember today’s message
to open my ears, eyes and heart to God’s loving presence…be
still and answer, “Here I am.”