The mystery of Christ has now been revealed, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs of the promise.
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 3:2- 12)
Brethren: I assume that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ; which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realised in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Isaiah 12:2-3.4bcde.5-6 (R. see 3)
R/. With joy you will draw water from the wells of the Saviour.
“Behold, God is my salvation:
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation. R.
“Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the nations,
proclaim that his name is exalted.” R.
“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitants of Sion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” R.
ALLELUIA Matthew 24 :42a.44
Alleluia. Watch, therefore, and be ready; the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Alleluia.
“Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required.”
A reading from the Gospel according to Luke (Luke 12:39-48)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been awake and would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly I tell you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him, and put him with the unfaithful. And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The eschatological discourse continues to build, telling us about the need for our preparedness for the coming of God’s kingdom. We have here the stylistic Lukan analogy of master and servant relationship and punishment to paint a picture of judgement, heaven and hell. When the master will come is judgement day, and the banquet with the master is heaven, and condemnation is hell. If we knew when judgement will befall us, we shall be prepared in waiting, but unfortunately this knowledge is far from us. There will be total condemnation for those who heard the urgency of this coming, yet are unprepared. Those who have the will but no action to implement the master’s command will be punished, and those who are ignorant, will be given a lighter punishment. What category do you belong to? The master’s house, the kingdom of heaven, should be our priority. Don’t forget: to whom much is given, much more is expected.