Jesus offers a grave warning in the Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Slaves. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Defense so he can better prepare himself and his family to meet Jesus in the Judgment and by pursuing the Virtue of Magnificence so he can aspire and strive for the greatness of holiness.
21st Week in Ordinary time – Thursday – Mt 24:42-51
After revealing the violent worldwide turmoil and coming judgment of men in Matthew Chapter 24, Jesus exhorts men to live moral lives at all times, for no man can be certain when they will die and meet Jesus in their own inevitable Judgment.
In the Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Slaves, Jesus emphasizes the need for men to be watchful, to be morally upright at all times, and to do the work that Jesus has given them to do with diligence and charity. Jesus (the Master or Lord) will bless and reward those good men/fathers/priests (servants) who diligently care for their families/communities/Church (the household the Master has given them to oversee) and give their families/communities/Church both bodily and spiritual nourishment (food). Men who do the Will of Jesus with faith and prudence will be rewarded richly in Heaven (is blessed and will set him over all his possessions).
In contrast to the “good men”, 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 unrepentant evil men who commit evil acts to Hell (punish severely; in Greek, “cut him in pieces”).
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 parable referring to His disciples as “slaves” (Greek: doulous, typically mis-translated as “servants”), 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 thoughts and acts) as the Divine Judge, and purposefully uses horrific language (to cut a man in pieces) to Warn evil unrepentant men of the horrors of Hell.
Protect your family by preparing to meet Jesus
Realize: Jesus warns all men that He will come to eternally judge every man, and that every man’s judgment will come unexpectedly due to a man’s surprise death or because Jesus will suddenly return in the Second Coming; every Catholic man must prepare himself, but also fulfill his duty as the head of his family to prepare his family, to meet Jesus at any time.
Believe: Reflect upon the Parousia (CCC 673, 830, 1001, 1021-1022, 2612, 2760).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Judge, help me build the Virtue of Defense/Protection (a part of Justice) so I take diligent action to protect and prepare myself and my family to be ready to meet You at any time, by daily prayer, frequent confession in the Sacrament of Penance and by weekly reception of the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Aspire and pursue the greatness of holiness
Realize: In the parable, the good men are not passively watching, but actively doing the things that the Master has commanded them to do; every Catholic man has the duty to become fully informed about what Jesus the Master demands of His disciples and to carry out His commands to the best of his ability.
Believe: Reflect upon Christian Holiness (CCC 2012-2016).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Magnificence (a part of Fortitude) so I diligently seek Your will for me, I desire to respond to Your call to greatness, and I give my total effort to growing in holiness and building Your Holy Catholic Church.