Gospel Message & Recording
The Gospel Reading today, taken from Luke 12:32-48, Jesus teaches us that “to whom much is given, much is required, and to whom much is committed, much will be asked of that person.” (Vr. 48) Jesus says this within the context of the faithful and evil servant. The faithful servant fulfills the responsibilities that his Master has handed over to him. On the contrary, the evil servant does not faithfully execute the responsibilities handed over to him. This story is similar to the Gospel Reading from last week because both speak about a servant who is faithful/responsible and a servant who is unfaithful/irresponsible.
When we look at our lives there are areas that God has to give us a lot of responsibility. We have to some degree, “committed” ourselves to various things in life. However, we didn’t have to say, “yes.” God gives us the opportunity to, according to our “free-will” to say, “no.” For instance, marriage, our career, our religious affiliation, and ordained ministry are choices we make when become a certain age. When we accept the responsibility as Orthodox Christians, we are required, as best as possible, to stay committed to it, and to bring it to completion. For example, if we are committed to our spouses, then we have to continuously take-up that responsibility and work hard to make marriage “work.” It was a commitment that we voluntarily chose. If we have committed ourselves to a certain position or ministry in the church, we have to do everything with “excellence.” Because much has been committed to us, therefore, much will be asked of us. Sometimes we might think that it is a voluntary position, that is, there is no salary. But, remember, when we commit to doing something for the Lord, we are doing it for the glory of the Lord, not for ourselves.
When we reflect on the talents and gifts that we have, we must ask ourselves, “are we using them for the Kingdom of God?” As Orthodox Christians, we have gifts, such as singing, music, teaching, preaching, finance, writing, administration, organizing, etc. It is a “sin” not to use that for the Church, or parish. I do not mean that we have to always work for the Church. Meaning, there should be a balance between home-life, work, and church. Nevertheless, it is important to invest a part of our lives in the work of God—the ministries of the parish. This is what Christ means by: “to whom much has been given, much is required.” I often wonder about the talent and gifts that are squandered away because we feel we cannot offer at least some time to the work of the Church.
Finally, in terms of what have been “given to us” and what has been “committed to us,” we have to make sure that we don't make a “mess” of things. Be pure at heart, honest, trustworthy, diligent, hardworking, kind, gentle, meek, polite, loving, and forgiving. What we say and how we behave in our work, marriage and in ministry will come to the forefront; and if we are lazy and careless in our work, Jesus says, “much will be asked of that person.” On the Day of Judgment, we will be called by God and “asked” to account for what we have done. Are you ready?
- “To whom much is given, much is required, and to whom much is committed, much will be asked of that person.” Thoughts? Discuss. What is the difference between given and committed?
- According to the sermon what does “much will be asked of that person” mean? What are your thoughts on this statement by Jesus?
- Do you think that you are taking full responsibility for the commitments you have made in life, for example, marriage, work, church, ministry, etc.?
- Do you feel you are using your talents and gifts for the church the best you can? On the other hand, do you feel it’s hard to balance your commitments to church/parish and family life? Do you try to avoid church or religious commitments because you think it will be too much of a burden or maybe too much work?