Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
October 21st, 2009

Roc O'Connor, S.J.

Rector and Campus Ministry
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Wednesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time
Romans 6:12-18
Psalm 124:1b-3, 4-6, 7-8
Luke 12:39-48

I remember how most of my classmates and I dealt with issues about morality (sex) in high school religion classes. Basically, we bargained with the teacher to cajole him to announce some exception that would keep us free enough to do what we wanted and “clean enough” to seem pleasing to God. It’s a tough line to walk for adolescents, eh?
Some days, I’m not that far from that attitude even still.
So, when I hear Jesus’ parable about the servant who is supposed to keep watch to fend off robbers, I want to make a deal with him. On the one hand, it seems completely beyond my strength to await the return of the Master 24/7. What about bathroom breaks? Or, what about delegation? Why do I have to do all this myself? What about her/him/them? What about Martha who is chided for doing too much?
On the other hand, I find that there are days on which a few beatings sound like a good idea. You no doubt have heard the saying, “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” Yep, that’s what I mean. “It’s their fault, God. They frustrate me!” Yep.
On the third hand (!), there are days I want to remain ignorant of God’s will in order to receive a milder beating. That would be a better deal, some days.
My point is this: Because I don’t have a continually joyful experience of what being a “faithful and prudent servant” is, I don’t trust that claiming that identity as my own and living it out day to day will be a blessed way to live. Since I approach whatever authority I have been entrusted with mostly as a duty, it seems like a burden.
Yet… there are times when I find the simple goodness of being a faithful and prudent servant. And I’m tempted to want to be just that and no one else.
Perhaps the combination of simple goodness, delight, and trust more truly mark the end of the need to bargain with God. What do you say?
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