11 November OS 2020 – Tuesday of the 8th Week of St. Luke; Holy Martyrs Menas, Victor, Vincent, and Stephanida; Righteous Theodore the Studite
The reading from the Holy Gospel today is Luke 12:42-48.
And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required…” The Lord makes the same point in another place, in the Parable of the Talents. He entrusts much to His faithful servants, and He expects much in return. Recall all that the Lord has given us:
He created us, bringing us from nothing into being, and he upholds us in existence at every moment. Nothing separates us from the abyss of non-being except His sovereign will, His decision that we continue to be.
When we had fallen away from Him, He became a man like us in all things but sin, and He suffered a terrible death on the Cross for our salvation.
By rising from the dead, He has destroyed the power of sin, death, the devil, and hell. In Holy Baptism He has granted us the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.
By ascending into Heaven, He has placed our human nature in the bosom of the Uncreated Godhead, the Holy Trinity.
By sending the Holy Spirit, He has granted us the grace-filled life of the Church. We have infinite divine help for all of our needs and activities, given us in prayer, in the Holy Mysteries, in the intercession of the Mother of God, the Holy Angels, and the choir of the saints. We have access to the countless blessings bestowed on the Church, all of the treasures of Her unsurpassed worship, art, music, and theological and spiritual literature. We have detailed and supremely wise instructions for conducting the struggle of this earthly life.
All of this is ours, our inheritance. We are the richest people on earth. Let us give thanks for this inheritance and at the same time ponder how we may take advantage of all these inestimable blessings, in order to do real work for the Lord, to be his active and vigilant servants. How can we do this?
First, every day dedicate your day to the Lord. Ask Him to show you His holy will, and express your desire to please Him in all you do in your duties at home and at work.
Second, ask how you can more actively serve your parish, help your priest, and serve the brethren. Do you see the parish as a “vendor” to supply your needs, or as a precious inheritance for which you are responsible and an arena for service and struggle? In other words, are you a taker or a giver?
Third, recall that without the Lord we can do nothing. Beg Our Lord, as you dedicate yourself to more active work for His glory, to remind you constantly that all is from Him and for Him, so that you do not become puffed up with pride in achievement or fall into despondency over failure. Be at peace regardless of outcomes: the duty to act is ours, but the consequences are God’s.
As we approach our patriotic holiday of Thanksgiving, let us give thanks to the Lord for all things, and let us dedicate ourselves more completely to His service.