Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. (Luke 12:48b)
Does this verse scare you just a little? It does me. When considering the ramifications of this statement, I begin by recognizing that much has been entrusted to me. I probably fall into the "still more" category rather than the simple "much" stratum. No, I am not a wealthy person, but I have everything I need by way of material goods. To truly consider the full implications of what Jesus is saying, one has to remember that God has given me far more important gifts than material wealth.
There is my faith. Every day I meet people who lack faith. They seem to me to be like rudderless boats. Next, I consider the gift of my vocation. This is indeed a blessing that I should never take for granted, nor should anyone. While my faith is my rudder, my vocation is my compass. Next I consider all of the wonderful people I have met and with whom I share my faith and who reciprocate. God has also granted me certain talents which have given me great joy over the years.
However, even greater than all these gifts is God's presence in my life. I suppose that over the past sixty-seven, almost sixty-eight years, I have experienced a "dark night" or two. To tell the truth, I cannot remember them if they actually existed. God is with me; of this I am certain. Each time I pray the "Hail Mary," I am reminded of that fact. I sometimes whisper: "The Lord is with you – and me." I remember preaching a homily once in which I stated that the reason Mary was able to accept the role of being the Mother of God without hesitation was simply because she believed the angel when she was told that God was with her. When one realizes this gift, nothing can stand in one's way.
Finally, I must also give thanks for the gifts of grace which God has lavished upon me, grace which has saved me, has reclaimed me. As the old hymn says it, we were once lost, each and every one of us; but God has rescued us. With faith, vocation, and God's presence in my life, God's grace has been lavished upon me. Consequently, more will be required of me.
In the face of these gifts, I cannot imagine anything being "demanded" of me that I cannot or could not freely give in return. Life is so much easier when we start the day by considering all the gifts we have been given!
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator