Mercy and Justice | October 21

Click here to read the daily readings from the USCCB website.

Today we are presented with the image of a thief breaking into a house, but maybe a better image for us today is if we knew who had the Covid and was going to give it to us or force us into quarantine, we would have avoided them, right?

The point is, we just don’t know, we don’t know who is going to give us the Covid, and we don’t know when Jesus is going to return.  Things would be so much easier if we did, but we don’t! 

He uses the analogy of a thief breaking into a house. We are the masters of our own house, and we need to be vigilant that we keep our house in order “for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

In the second parable Jesus uses the example of a steward and a master. One could read this parable in light of the first. The bad steward is like a person who was not vigilant against the thief. In his desire to eat, drink, and get drunk, he fails to do his job and is thus punished upon the return of the master.

So, Jesus is telling us we need to be prepared and simply do what He expects of us.

And what is that? To be prepared is simple, but it is two-fold, to love God and to love and take care of our neighbor.

The first is to keep up this loving relationship, see, this is a relationship between us and Jesus, so we need to treat every day like we treat it with any of our best friends, we talk to them right?  

With Jesus, we are expected to pray and talk to Him that way, then we say sorry for what we have done wrong, we say thank you for the blessings we have received.  This is how we stay in “right relationship” with God. 

But Jesus also says, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.”

There is an element of action here where we are expected to take care of our neighbor by providing for their needs. Love God and Love Neighbor, this is also a preview of this Sunday’s Gospel. This is how we stay prepared always for the master to return.

This parable also gives us a clue into God’s justice when Jesus talks about the servant who knew his master’s will and the servant who didn’t know his master’s will.  God knows our hearts, He knows what we know and what we don’t know, what we do and don’t do, and he’ll treat us accordingly at judgment.

So sometimes we can be worried about our friends or our family that they don’t have as good of a relationship with God as we do, or don’t worry about taking care of their neighbors.  

Well God will treat them according to what they deserve, and God will treat us according to what we deserve. 

Now don’t take this as an excuse to slack off in your spiritual life. The fact that you’re reading this blog means that you know what you’re supposed to do. God has reasonable expectations of you and that is equally just.

God is a just judge.  He loves us and wants what is best for us.  It’s our job to trust in that, to live in that relationship, to take care of our neighbors and be prepared when the time comes.


-Fr. Andy Upah, Pastor