Sunday, October 07, 2007

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4
2 Tm 1:6-8, 13-14
Lk 17:5-10
We live in a time that has many people asking, what’s in it for me? We don’t want to do anything without some sort of pay-off. It seems as though there has to be an award, or honor or accolade attached to anything we do. It has gotten so bad that some people expect awards for simply doing what they are supposed to do. I remember a commercial that was running on television a couple of years ago, what it was for I can’t recall, but the focus was a football player. He was sitting in front of his locker, being interviewed after a game. He was disconsolate about losing, but only because losing made him look bad. He wasn’t concerned about the loss as much as how losing would hurt his chances to win individual awards. Losing was bad only because it made him look bad. Of course, he didn’t seem to play well himself, but accepted no responsibility for the team losing. He didn’t let them down, they let him down. The reporter used the old cliché, there is no “I” in team, and our protagonist responded, “There’s no we either”. This was only a commercial, not real, but real athletes, the ones we hear about, the real stars, are the athletes who are least concerned with winning individual awards. They may get them, but they realize winning is more important than theses awards. They simply go out and do what they are supposed to do, what is expected of them, and try to win. They understand that in winning they will find a reward that goes far beyond any individual accolade they may receive. Just like the servant in the Gospel, they go about their duty, doing what is expected of them, without looking for any thanks. And so it should be with us. We should go about doing those things that we are supposed to do, the things we are obliged to do, without any expectation of reward. We are called to love, we are called to serve, it is what is expected of us, what we are obliged to do. We should not ask for or expect accolades or honors for simply doing what we should do. If we do what is expected of us, if we do the things we are called to do, to the best of our ability, without expectation of recompense, there waits for us a reward far greater than anything we can imagine.
Deacon John
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Oct. 7, 2007