In one sense this is indeed a rather strange gospel today (Luke 12:32-48). So, Let’s try and find a parallel to make the imagery connect with our present age. Suppose our Queen were a single woman. She gets married while in office, and then brings her new spouse home to the Buckingham Palace. When she arrives, will her staff be ready to greet her? If they are – and this is the strange part – then the queen will have them sit down at her fancy table, and she will serve dinner to them! It appears that scripture has things backwards.
Our story today is about two things: being ready for the Master’s return, and the lavish compassion and affection of the Master for his faithful servants. The image of a wedding banquet almost always relates to the coming of the Kingdom of God, and weddings are certainly a time of celebration, when we share in the love, joy and happiness of the bride and groom. So a lively metaphor is placed in front of us: God’s will is that all people live a transparent life of vigilant loving service, and modelling themselves on none other than the Master.
Notice that the Master knocks on the door of his own home! Once again the imagery is so rich: Jesus will not force himself upon anyone. We must always be ready, listening for his knock, and invite him into our life in a meaningful way. His promised return, his second coming is not predictable; nevertheless our call is to be prepared at all times to greet him, and to have our house in order. If we do this, then the rewards are astonishing: we will be treated like VIP’s by the Master himself at the only banquet that counts!
Pray for awareness, especially for the gift of final perseverance. In the meantime, our readiness program ought to include frequent use of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist!