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1 December 2016

Thursday 1 December

[Matthew 24: 45-51]

Obedient and Faithful Waiting

‘The devil finds work for idle hands’ is a saying beloved of parents, and teachers, who know the temptations that come when we are left to our own devices and consult only our own selfish desires. In today’s passage we see the wisdom of those who do the Master’s will, contrasted with the foolish wickedness of those who make their own rules. Tom Wright refers to the Book of Proverbs where we are given many contrasts between the way wisdom and foolishness work. The theme is summed up in Proverbs 9: 10 – “The fear of the Lord (submission to his will) is the beginning of wisdom”. The wicked servants have grown bored with waiting for their Lord, and rather than continuing in obedience and faithfulness to his will, have “followed the devices and desires of their own hearts”. Ever since Adam and Eve grew tired of obedience, we human beings have struggled with the task of waiting faithfully for a Master we don’t see. But it can be done! A recent book of Mother Teresa’s letters describes how, soon after responding to Christ’s call to her “to serve the poorest of the poor”, she entered a time of darkness - lasting until her death – in which she experienced the absence of Jesus. Butshe never gave up her obedience and faith in that first call and continued to offer that faithful service which God required. May we too remember Christ’s call to us and always be ready to serve him to the end.

 

For further reflection, please read Tom Wright – Advent for Everyone, A Journey Through Matthew, pages 19-23