“Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.Luke 12:35-38
Who is God and what is he like? In the Parable of the Watchful Servants, Jesus reveals the Lord’s exuberance in servants who faithfully await his return. Blessed are those who, with girt loins and trimmed lamps, keep watch through the night, listening for his knock. In an unexpected twist, upon finding his douloi (“slaves,” “servants”) awake, the kurios (“lord,” “master”) will gird himself for them. Losing himself in love, he will serve them a splendid feast.
The Master’s Magnanimity
You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.John 15:14-15
The master’s magnanimity mirrors the boundless joy of the Father and the Son: “I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”1 Self-giving love is the very life of God, and nothing surpasses the gift of the Father’s love through the Son. When God became man, he girded himself with the girded. Calling himself the “servant of all,”2 Christ shows us the way to the Father’s heart.
To enter into a union of hearts with the Father through the Son is to live in blessed “concord” (from Latin com “with, together” + cor “heart”). Concord is a “state of mutual friendship.”
Servants who stay awake for their Lord
Receive his joy in blessed concord.
1 John 14:10.
2 Mark 9:35. Cf. Luke 22:27.