Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 2, 2016
I have a number of friends who work as waiters and waitresses, and serve in other positions in the restaurant business. I enjoy talking with them about their work, and hearing the stories they tell about the sometimes insensitive behavior of restaurant patrons. It’s made me appreciate the hard work done by those who wait on tables. I’ve tried to remember that when I say thanks and leave tips.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus draws on the experience of those who provided service in his day. He speaks of servants who are just “doing their duty” for a master. They can’t expect some special treatment for doing what’s expected of them. In his book, The Word Alive, the late Scripture scholar, Father Eugene Maly, has a wonderful insight about this passage. Father Gene calls the parable “provocative.” We know that serving Jesus is something truly extraordinary— so how can it be mere duty? “The answer,” Father Gene says, “is faith. When one makes that total surrender to the Lord,” he says, “then all else follows ‘naturally.’ The extraordinary becomes ordinary. The unexpected becomes completely expected.”
Through giving ourselves to the Lord, we can find ourselves doing great things with the Spirit’s help. Look at your own life today and see if you agree!