Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 14.11.2023
WISDOM 2: 23 – 3: 9
God created man for incorruption, and made him in the image of his own eternity, but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his party experience it. But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died, and their departure was thought to be an affliction, and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope is full of immortality. Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good, because God tested them and found them worthy of himself; like gold in the furnace he tried them, and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them. In the time of their visitation they will shine forth, and will run like sparks through the stubble. They will govern nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord will reign over them forever. Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his elect, and he watches over his holy ones.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 34: 2 – 3, 16 – 17, 18 – 19 (R.) 2a.
R/. I will bless the Lord at all times.
I will bless the Lord at all times,
Praise of him is always in my mouth.
In the Lord my soul shall make its boast;
The humble shall hear and be glad. R/.
The Lord turns his eyes to the just,
And his ears are open to their cry.
The Lord turns his face against the wicked
To destroy their remembrance from the earth. R/.
When the just cry out, the Lord hears,
And rescues them in all their distress.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted;
Those whose spirit is crushed he will save. R/.
John 14: 23
If a man loves me, he will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him.
We are unworthy servants, we have only done what was our duty.
LUKE 17: 7 – 10
At that time: Jesus said, “Will any one of you, who has a servant ploughing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down at table’? Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and put on your apron and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink’? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.
The Gospel of the Lord
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Servants of the Master
November 14, 2023
Jesus said to the Apostles: “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table?’ Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished?’ Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?” (Luke 17:7–9)
In most cultures today, the idea of having a servant whom you command to wait on you is far from ideal. Jesus uses this image because the people to whom He was speaking would have easily related. He used it as a way of humbling them because when the illustration is properly understood, He was identifying each one of them as the servant, not the master. Only God is the Master.
When it comes to our service of God, there is no limit to the commands that God will give. At first, that might seem harsh, but it’s not because the commands that God gives to us are dictates of perfect love. We need His commands. We need the order He provides. We need to enter into perfect obedience to Him. We need to listen to everything He tells us and obey it to perfection. Seeing God as our Master and ourselves as His servants will only appear harsh when we fail to understand what sort of Master He is.
Recall the beautiful words of our Blessed Mother when she was given the command from the Archangel Gabriel. The angel said to her, “You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.” This was not a question posed to her; it was a command of love. Mary did not hesitate and did not refuse. She said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”
At the conclusion of today’s Gospel, Jesus went on to say, “When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” In many ways, this is exactly what our Blessed Mother did. She was a servant of God’s perfect commands, and she knew that her love for God obliged her to follow His will.
When you think about your service of the will of God, do you see it as you doing God a favor? Do you see obedience to God’s dictates as an act of generosity on your part and your cooperation with those dictates as above and beyond your natural duties? Hopefully not. Hopefully you understand that you, like our Blessed Mother, are a servant of the one true Master of all. Hopefully you also see the commands of God as the roadmap toward a life of complete fulfillment. When we understand Who the Master is, we will never hesitate in being a servant, or even a slave. We will not hesitate in freely surrendering ourselves over to His will in complete and unwavering obedience. God alone knows what is best for us, and we need to give Him complete control over our lives.
Reflect, today, upon the image of a master and a slave. As you do, try to shed every preconceived image you have that includes harshness, cruelty, dominance and control. Instead, try to see the image of a divine Master Whose only concern is for the servant. Try to see a Master Who perfectly loves the servant. Reflect upon your own need for such a Master in your life. Pray that you will be able to surrender complete control over to God in all things so that He can direct your life into the glorious things He has in store for you.
My Lord and Master, You have commanded me and all Your servants to obey Your commands of perfect love. Your will alone is what is best for our lives and Your dictates bring fulfillment and purpose to our lives. May I, with Your Blessed Mother, always obey You in everything, for I am a servant of You, dear Lord. May I joyfully do what I am obliged to do. Jesus, I trust in You.