Tuesday, November 12, 2013


We read in the last line of the gospel today these words:"say we are unprofitable servants, doing what we are obliged to do."

This passage comes from the gospel of Luke 17.

We live in a world where people in general and mostly in particular despise any obligations.  In large part because they look upon the word with only one definition in mind.  When people hear or read or encounter the word obliged they instantly think negative, they think about force or restraint or constraint.  Instantly their minds goes to being forced to do something against one's will or even choice.

This is unfortunate.   It is also typical of minds not use to thinking a thought through.

The word obliged has a second and I believe a more practical and applicable meaning.  It means to be under a debt of gratitude.

One who is obliged is one who is so deeply appreciative that gratitude becomes to source and motivation for one's actions.

Let's look at the words of Jesus with this attitude and this perspective.  The unprofitable servants are not working as to earn something but rather they are living a life of gratitude that shows itself in practical ways of service.

We are all obliged.  But do we all understand the debt of gratitude by which our service flows.

Every obligation the Church lays before us does so with the duty of gratitude in mind and in heart.  we no how easy it is for us to take things for granted.  Thus the obligation is meant to direct our heart and mind and strength to gratitude which is the foundation of our spiritual welfare.

Be obliged today.

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