Homily for Mass – Deschatelets Residence, Ottawa

[Readings: Wis 2:23 3:9;  Ps 34;  Lk 17:7-10]

 The first reading today is appropriate in this month of prayer for the faithful departed.  Towards the beginning of today’s first reading, the author describes how death is viewed by the foolish and the unwise.  The reading goes on to show how we should view death.

Death invites us to see things properly: to see the true purpose of our lives, to consider our eternal destiny, and to understand what our calling is.

The Gospel today is also an invitation to see things properly.  Perhaps one thing the gospel is challenging is our desire to be praised for what we do – and particularly if we think we deserve special mention for doing what we ought to do anyway.

One commentator on this text reminds the hearer that not only are we ‘worthless slaves, doing our duty,’ but that the Lord has also said that he calls us friends, not servants any more.

Somewhere in that tension we find our proper attitude as disciples of the Son of Man.  We are to serve the Lord all the days of our lives, we are to fulfil our obligations without expecting special credit … but we are to do so in the way that we willingly serve our friends.  As obedient servants of the Lord, we want to joyously do what ought to be done, freely and generously.

As we serve the Lord this day, let’s ask Him to help us to do so in the way He wants us to serve.