A Feast for Watchful Servants

“A Feast for Watchful Servants”
A reflection on Luke 12:35-38
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
©️2022 by Gloria M. Chang

“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

Divine Exuberance

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.

Blessed Concord

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.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:20


1 John 14:10.

2 Mark 9:35. Cf. Luke 22:27.

2 Replies to “A Feast for Watchful Servants”

  1. Dear GMC, your reflection today gives further depth and meaning for me to today’s responsorial Psalm, “blessed the people the Lord has chosen, chosen to be his own..” I learn that being blessed is to be a blessing for others, much like you are, GMC.

    1. Thank you, fdan. You are a blessing!

      “Every day I will bless you;
      I will praise your name forever and ever.”
      Psalm 145:2

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