In Fr Paul’s absence, Tony Worner, Leader of Formation at St Agnes’ Catholic Parish joins us this week for our Gospel reflections.
Today, Tony reads from the Gospel of Luke (12: 35- 38) in which Jesus tells the disciples ‘see that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit’.
Tony notes that, though only a short text, the first three lines of this Gospel cover three very important characteristics of a good waiter – three themes related to discipleship.
Be dressed for action, in other words, be ready – be prepared – have your lamps lit. It is a type of maintenance. Keep being ready. Like servants waiting for their master, there is an expectation and joy. So, Tony says, the preparation of the waiter consists of a readiness for action. In the imagery of our Lord, it has to do with one’s clothing. Literally, one is to be ready by having their tunic tied; one could hardly work with a flowing robe in the way so it would be tucked in. In our culture we might say, having your sleeves rolled up.
Second, the good waiter is to keep their lamp burning. They didn’t have street lights in those days nor did they have a porch light to leave on so that the master could easily find and enter his house. The good servant would listen for the sound of his master’s return, maybe a dog barking in the distance, and would have his light already lit so he could illuminate and, thereby, facilitate his master’s way home.
Third, the good waiter is to be like a devoted servant, who eagerly awaits his master’s return as if he were coming from a wedding banquet. Jesus didn’t suggest that the master was himself married but only that he attended the banquet. It was both profitable and delightful activity – a good reason to be gone and, even, to be delayed in returning. The mood then on his arrival would be joyful and festive. The eager servant would be ready, able to immediately open the door to the master.
Tony asks, as disciples, are we ready, are we able to maintain our lives, and then celebrate with joy, knowing that Jesus wants to be, and is, part of our lives?
Closing with a prayer Tony prays, ‘Lord God, strengthen in our hearts the faith you have given us so that no trials may quench the fire your spirit has kindled within us. May your light shine through our lives and be constantly lit to lead us ready for the day the Lord again calls our name. Amen.’