Gospel Meditation

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” What a humble attitude this would be! Jesus challenges us today not to boast, not to seek special praise, not to consider ourselves worthy of some great reward when we follow him. Rather, he honestly reminds us that it is simply our duty to do all we “have been commanded.”
God made us. Our lives are a result of his loving initiative. Giving ourselves back to him through “the obedience of faith” (as the Second Vatican Council called it), is truly the only appropriate response. Of course we are free not to practice this obedience. We are free to reject God, to ignore his commandments, even to make ourselves his enemies. But nonetheless it remains true that what we ought to do is to love God and follow his ways. And Jesus suggests today that this simple obedience should be a given in our lives. Following the commandments is merely what we are obligated to do.
But, let’s not forget that we are also free to do more. Because of the nature of love, we can never really exhaust it. We can always love more, serve more devotedly, give more generously. Perhaps Jesus is calling us to focus less on meeting the bare-bones requirements of Christianity, and instead to shift our efforts farther in the direction of going above and beyond the call of duty. Instead of asking what is the least I have to do, we would do well to ask, what else can I do? What else can I do to show my gratitude to God for all he has given me? What else can I do to serve his people and nurture the world he has made? Let us aim to become truly profitable servants.