Is 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7
Ps 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
1 Cor 1:3-9
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by Graham Golden, 08'
In this week’s scripture readings we are called to conversion. This conversion, however, does not simply beckon us to an awakening of faith. It does not ask for only an intellectual or emotional response. No, the conversion commanded by these scriptures is that which requires of us authenticity. It calls us to claim our volition and act with responsibility and integrity.
This, however, is not accomplished without God’s assistance. We must take heed of that which has been given us by God. The sinfulness and failings of humanity are emphasized in Isaiah. So, too, is the relationship between God and humanity as God is father and potter and we are clay. We are the “work of his hands.” The psalm continues this lamenting of the state of humanity. Both Isaiah and the psalm call out to God to right our ways and to guide us in holiness.
Despite our shortcomings Paul explains we are “not lacking in any spiritual gifts.” Isaiah, the Psalm and Paul emphasize the fidelity of God to humanity, and thus the need for humanity’s fidelity to God. The grace of God shall provide for our needs and heal our broken ways. However, this is not to say we are saved in a passive manner.
The Gospel calls us to heightened awareness and action. Jesus speaks of the unknown moment of the Lord’s coming. We are likened to servants left in charge in charge of the home of a property owner knowing not when he shall return. Thus, we must act with authenticity. We are to live in such a manner as to have no regrets. We act with honesty, integrity and transparency cleansing our lives so that at any moment they are fit for examination by God. This responsibility lies beyond our own internal integrity and authenticity to our Christian vocation. In this Gospel, we are the servants left to care for the home of the property owner. We are thus called to be stewards of the earth and one another. As we as servants are without property, that for which we care belongs to God. Ultimately we must treat the world and each other with the dignity they have been given by God. Not because anything or anyone is ours, but because all is from and for God.
Despite our fallen nature, God provides for us all that we need. Our relationship with God is a reciprocal relationship, however. We are thus called to seize our own free will and direct our own actions and lives for the betterment and care of not only our internal realities by the existence that surrounds us. We are called to conversion of our ways to a vigilant stewardship rooted in the Gospel.