Oct 6 (Lk 17:5-10)

It was the time of World War II.

There was an urgency for England to increase its coal production.

The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill exhorted the labour leaders to extend their support towards this requirement.

At the end of his exhortation, he asked them to visualize (picture in their mind)…

… a victory parade that would be held at the end of the war.

He said that, first in the parade would come…

>>The sailors…who had managed the tensions at sea, with great courage.

>> Next would come the soldiers… who had proven their mettle by their bravery.

>> Then would come the pilots… who had displayed immense aerial skills.

All of these would be welcomed and acknowledged with great cheer and applause.

Last of all, would come along, the long line of…

… sweat-soaked and soot-smeared men in their miner’s caps.

Seeing them, someone from the crowd would ask, “Hey! Where were all of you, during the tense days of our struggle?”

And from the hoarse ten thousands of throats would come the answer: “We were deep in the earth, with our faces to the coal!”

The sailors, the soldiers and the pilots had glamour and glory attached to their work…

… but the miners, working deep in the coal mines, were always hidden and away from the limelight.

>> But very often, it is the work of such people who have their “faces to the coal”…

… which become the foundation and support in accomplishments of mission!

As Christians, are we willing to be the people who have our “faces to the coal”…

… in accomplishing the mission of the Kingdom of God.

The Gospel of the day, is this invitation to have our “faces to the coal”…

… by becoming “servants” in the service of the Kingdom!

Servanthood is an important dimension in being a follower of Jesus Christ.

The Lord narrates the Parable of the Unprofitable Servant.

In this parable, Jesus tells about a servant who works all day long out in the field, or out taking care of the flock.

>> And after he works all day long, he comes into the house…

Is he expected to sit down and rest and eat his own meal? No

>> Rather, he is required to serve his master by providing him the meal first.

And after doing all that work – all day long – there’s no word of thanks, no gratitude.

Jesus closes out this parable by saying that the servant was unprofitable because he only did what he was told to do.

Is it something practical?

>> Is it something easy?

Our modern-day psychology would speak of the concept of a “positive stroke” that is to be given to those working or those who undertake some labour.

It’s important that…

>> employers in a company

>> servants in a house

>> workers in a firm or factory

… are given a “positive stroke”…

>> by appreciating their good works

>> by encouraging with good words and a cheerful countenance

>> by acknowledging their worth and constantly boosting their confidence level

But the Gospel of the Day seems to be demanding much more from a Servant…

A servant…

… who works whole day long ploughing in the field or tending the sheep…

… who delays his needs and instead prepares and serves meals for his master…

… who after all his works, doesn’t expect words of gratitude…

The Parable is surely a tough one!

But, the One who preached this Parable is not a mere preacher, but is the One Who practised!

Jesus, the one who preached this Parable, practised perfectly, this life of being a servant.

>> He is the Servant, Who works in the field ploughing…

…sowing the seed of the Word of God, ploughing the Gospel in the hearts of people and toiling in the hot sun of oppositions and mockery

>> He is the Servant, Who tends the sheep in the field…

…providing pasture for His people, protecting them from the wolves of the evil and going after any of the sheep which are lost in the wilderness

>> He is the Servant, who prepares a meal and serves at table…

…nourishing those at table with His own body, strengthening them with His own blood and constantly reinforcing in the journey of life

How are we to be such a Servant of the Lord?

1. Having a mind of being a Servant of God:

The world of a servant centres not around himself, but around the Master.

>> Whatever pleases the Master, the servant does.

If we truly acknowledge God as our Master, then we too…

…will do the works which please Him

…will think and seek to do His Will

…will speak the words which are worthy of His grace

2. Being committed in this task of being His servant

The world of a servant centres around total availability and openness to the needs of the Master.

>> Whatever is the Will of the Master, the servant is docile and alert.

If we truly accept God as our Master, then we too…

…will give ourselves to Him totally at all times

…will place His priorities over ours

…will avoid anything that blocks my complete service of Him

The Call is to be a Servant…who is dedicated and selfless.

>> Jesus is our model and example in being a Servant.

It’s a demand placed on us.

In working for the Kingdom of God, there are different roles which have glamour and glory attached to their work…

… but we always need to be willing to be like the ‘miners’ – working deep in the mines – hidden and away from the limelight.

It is the work of such people who have their “faces to the coal”…

… which become the foundation and support in accomplishments of mission!

As Christians, let us be willing to be the people who have our “faces to the coal”…

… in accomplishing the mission of the Kingdom of God.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

——————————–

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “The King of Glory doesn’t reward His servants according to the dignity of their office…

…. but according to the humility and love with which they have exercised it!”

——————————–

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