Matthew 24:42-51 Who is the Faithful Servant?
While driving on one of the many deserted road in Texas, I came across a sign that read, “Live today as if there were no tomorrow because one day you will be right!” That was five years ago and it stuck hard in my head. We have a limited amount of time to do so much and I have really tried to live my priesthood as if there were no tomorrow. This sign has been a blessing for me. It was a sign from God.
The Lord reminds us, “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” We don’t have to worry about 2012. There is nothing to fear. Chances are we will die before then! “For an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” Physicists and Astronomers have attempted to understand the end of the world scientifically. They have asserted a global warming that would destroy life or make it no longer possible to sustain. There have been other hypotheses, but the Lord is not referring to any of them. The end of the world is a judgment, and comes, not from any natural development but from the sovereign will of God (Romano Guardini).
Who is the faithful and prudent servant? He is the one whom the master put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time. Therefore to whom is the Lord referring to? To his priests - his disciples - his ministers. The food that came down from Heaven must be distributed to all the members of the household. We know that this food refers to the Word of God and to the Word made flesh (The Eucharist).
“Jesus said to his disciples…” This teaching was not meant for the crowd, but for those in charge of the crowd. They are to stay awake! They are to remain faithful till the last hour because they are in charge and because they are to serve. St. Paul reminds his brothers and sisters that in Christ they were enriched in every way, and that they are not lacking in any spiritual gift (cf. 1Cor 1:1-9).
“But if the wicked servant begins to beat his fellow servants,… eat and drink with drunkards,… the master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites!” Woe to you Pharisees and scribes. Woe to us priests and ministers of the Lord! “For there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
The best definition I ever heard of a priest came from a very humble Cardinal in Rome. “A priest is a man of his word; a man of the Word; a man made Word.” He is another Christ - a living, breathing icon of the Lord. We see many icons of the Lord on walls. A priest is a living icon of Jesus Christ. Let us pray to the Master of the vineyard; of the household; of life itself, to send holy and numerous men after his Holy Son’s heart! “I will praise your name for ever, Lord!” (Ps 145:1) This is what it is all about!
The year of the priest is over, but not for the priest. Today let a priest know that he is very much appreciated! Pray for him!