Jesus commands men to be good stewards in the Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Slave. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Prudence so can practice prudence to avoid sin and damnation and by pursuing the Virtue of Duty so he can make spiritual fatherhood his highest purpose.
29th Week in Ordinary time – Wednesday – Lk 12:39-48
After urging men to vigilantly battle sin, Jesus warns priests and other leaders of their responsibility and accountability for shepherding the men Jesus has led to them.
Peter realizes Jesus’ command that men must battle sin is directly relevant to the Apostles and asks for clarification. Responding with the example of The Faithful or Unfaithful Slave, Jesus emphasizes that men must be watchful, to always be morally upright, and to do the work that Jesus has given them to do. Jesus (the Master or Lord) will bless and reward those good men/fathers/priests (steward) who diligently care for their families/communities/Church (household Jesus has given them) and give their families/communities/Church both bodily and spiritual nourishment (food). Men who do Jesus’ will with faith and prudence will be rewarded richly in Heaven (blessing/set him over all his possessions).
In contrast to the “good man”, evil men/fathers/priests (wicked servants) ignore Jesus (Master/Lord is delayed) abuse (beat) their families/communities/Church (fellow servants) and engage in immorality (eat and drink with the drunkards). Jesus (Master/Lord) will come unexpectedly (unexpected day/time), judge and send the evil men to Hell (punish severely; in Greek, dichotomew, literally, “cut him in two”). Other sinners (those who fail to carry out Jesus’ will or do not know it) will still be punished, but less severely (severe beating, light beating).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Consider, with holy fear, what Jesus, the perfection of Justice, reveals about how He will hold men accountable: Jesus, the Son of God and Lord, purposefully crafts this example, referring to His disciples as “slaves” (Greek: doulous, poorly translated as “servant”), confirming the absolute Obedience (a part of Justice) to which Jesus calls His disciples; the perfection of Temperance, Jesus denounces gluttony (over eating, drunkenness); Jesus confirms He will use Vindication (a part of Justice by which men are rewarded or punished based on their conduct) as Judge, justly giving out rewards and punishments (“cut in two”, severe or light beatings) for His men (priests, disciples).
Practice prudence to avoid sin and damnation
Realize: Because many imprudent men fall into the Vice of Effeminacy (soft men who are unwilling to courageously face difficult tasks), the tough truth that Jesus holds men strictly accountable for their sins is avoided or ignored; Jesus explicitly warns men of the severe and horrific punishment that await evil and lukewarm men.
Believe: Reflect upon Mortal and Venial Sin (CCC 1849-1876) and the Four Last Things (Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell – CCC 1006-1037).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prudence, help me build the Virtue of Prudence so I accept Your repeated and explicit warnings about the Four Last Things, I use my reason to continually examine my conscience, I shrewdly take all action necessary to avoid sin, and I repent and seek forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance when I sin.
Make spiritual fatherhood your highest purpose
Realize: While Jesus severely punishes evil men (cut in two), He also punishes men who fail to fully do His will (severely or lightly beat); today, the most common and grave sin of a Catholic man is failing to be a spiritual father who does everything he can to lead his family to Jesus and His Holy Catholic Church.
Believe: Reflect upon the Sins of Omission (CCC 1853, 2277, 2284, 2326).
Pray: Jesus, Divine King, help me build the Virtue of Duty/Responsibility (a part of Justice) so I make it my highest priority to be a spiritual father who draws my family and many others to You and Your Holy Catholic Church.