and have next generations following, do this? Of course, one can do that, but not at the same level like Bava Thirumeni did. However, another question has a higher relevance here. Do the words of the Lord have bearing only to wealth and money? I feel not. They also shall mean love, goodness, generosity, gentleness, compassion, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness, faithfulness, moral correctness, peace, happiness, integrity, joy, patience, self-control and all virtues. One needs to distribute these virtues as well as alms. The world is always in need of these virtues and it is only Christians, who can distribute them. If one aims a place in the kingdom, one needs to be the donor for all that have been said above. In other words, it is easy to be a donor of money and wealth. To distribute virtues is more difficult. Monks, when distribute their wealth, have done their part. Much difficult is the state of the people, who live in the world. Married people are the ones, who are given and entrusted with more and as verse 48 says: ‘From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.’
II. The Necessity of Being Watchful (v. 35-40)
For the married people are given more, they need to be more watchful. What have been given to the married ones, more than that to a celibate?
For one, the family. Family is the simplest form of the kingdom of God on earth. It is love that holds a family together. The hinges, on which a family revolves, are love, sincerity, integrity, trustworthiness and faithfulness. A family must adorn itself with happiness, joy, patience, and peace from within. A family must radiate generosity, gentleness, compassion, and self-control. When the father leads the family from the front with these virtues, it is easy for the mother to hold the family together. The children would learn these virtues from the parents and will become good fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and so on. Everyone shall therefore, be extremely vigilant that no external attack is permitted. In short, one needs to be watchful always that no thief nears to break in and destroys the castle of a Christian family.
Secondly, a Christian needs to remind himself that he is a slave of the Lord and he is entrusted with precious possessions of the master like a husband, wife, children, brothers, sisters, friends etc. As a watchful servant of the master one shall keep oneself always ready and protect the master’s possessions. Then, when the master comes and calls us, no matter late into the night or during the day, we will be found worthy. We shall perceive the arrival of the master as the last call to leave everything behind and go. For none of us knows, when the master is to come, we need to be vigilant. This reading on all souls day gains weight here, when we look at this text in this angle. For such a watchful servant the reward is like the master himself serving for him at the table and not the servant serving the master, says the Lord. Amazing though!!!
III. The Necessity of being a faithful manager (v. 41- 48)
Everyone likes to be a manager, for being a manager brings more recognition and respect. However, getting a higher position means higher responsibility and accountability. A lower grade worker can make a mistake, but not a manager. A nurse tech will be forgiven for making a certain degree of a mistake, but a nurse will not. A doctor will have lesser margin to commit a mistake, for it is all about the life of a human being. As Christians, we all are managers of ourselves and other positions that we have accepted. Some of us are managers as family fathers and husbands. Some are mothers and wives. We at the same time are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and friends as human beings. On an ecclesiastical level, some of us are priests, deacons, trustees, secretaries, managing committee members, leaders of youth league, women’s league, MGOCSM, Sunday School teachers, students and so on to name a few positions. We all are managers on our entrusted levels. We have the responsibility of governing our entrusted duties responsibly. If we are only enjoying the respect and recognition that come along with these responsibilities, we would be like the manager, who beats his fellow servants, men and women, enjoy with drunkards and merry make using the stuff belonging to the master. In short, we are simply attracting wrath upon wrath by being less responsible. If we are not efficient managers, we would be beaten and cut into pieces, as the Lord himself says.
Being a Christian is not a threat, but is a privilege
The reading of all souls day is a very powerful double edged sword. The gist of the text is simple. If one is good and go according to the commandments, be a just and responsible servant and manager, one’s reward is great at the second coming of the Lord, where the Lord himself will become the servant. This is exactly the song after the reading of the gospel also, namely: ‘Blessed are those servants good, whom their Lord shall find…’ (Yajamaanan varumannerathu unarvulloray than…). If not, the reward will be total destruction and doom.
I do not know if there is any other reading that has this powerful bearing upon Christians, other than the reading on the Sunday of all departed clergy. This is reminding us all about the gravity of positions that we have been entrusted upon as Christians. ‘From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded’ is not to be seen as a threat, but as a privilege. Being called to hold a responsibility is a privilege for sure though. Responsibility becomes a threat only when one does not respond with accountability.
On the other hand, our God is not an unforgiving, unsympathetic autocrat. He can forgive our sins and that of all our beloved departed ones. He is always ready to welcome with both hands a returning sinner or a prodigal son. We have the option for seeking true forgiveness through true penitence. We can pray for forgiveness for our beloved departed ones, and they all will do so for us too. Seen in this line as well, being a Christian is a privilege. Let us all enter into the holy lent as one body of Christ to await the epiphany of the kingdom, which is to be seen in the resurrection of the Lord.
Let us all believe that we are Christian and we have been given more. Therefore, we have to be more responsible. May the Lord find us and all our beloved departed ones as responsible ones, who were poor, were watchful and were faithful managers at His second coming. Let Him reward us and them with the kingdom, which is the good pleasure of our Father in heaven. Amen.
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