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Saturday, September 2, 2017

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1 Thessalonians 4:9-11
Psalm 98:1, 7-9
Matthew 25:14-30

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"come, share your master's joy!" (mt 25:21, 23)

"Then He went away." —Matthew 25:15

Suppose you have five children, but you serve the Lord in several ministries. Jesus is pleased with you. To reward you, He says: "You have five kids? Here, I'll give you five more. Come, share your Master's joy!" (see Lk 19:18-19; Mt 25:21)

Perhaps you are involved in two ministries, and the power of the Lord shines through your service. Jesus is pleased with you. To reward you, He says: "You did well in these two ministries. I am calling you to work in two additional ministries. Come, share your Master's joy!" (see Lk 19:18-19; Mt 25:23)

Jesus gives you more responsibility, and then He seemingly goes away (see Mt 25:15), apparently leaving you with the work and without His presence (Lk 19:12; Acts 1:9). Some saints have experienced this isolation, yet persevered in serving the Lord faithfully. Jesus asks us to be faithful, even if it seems that He has gone away. He expects us "to stay with this task, whether convenient or inconvenient" (2 Tm 4:2). Sometimes it can seem as if the Lord is like the Egyptians, who demanded that the Hebrew slaves not only produce their daily share of bricks but gather their own straw also (see Ex 5:7).

However, Jesus gives us the secret to avoiding heavy responsibilities "out of fear" (Mt 25:25). The secret is: "Come, share your Master's joy!" (Mt 25:21, 23) Come to Jesus in the Eucharist, daily if possible, and receive His joy. Come to Him in Eucharistic Adoration and frequent prayer. Jesus' joy cannot be taken away from you (Jn 15:11; 16:22; 17:13). We must fix our eyes on Jesus (Heb 3:1; 12:2), not on the responsibilities that come with serving Him. "Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again. Rejoice!" (Phil 4:4)

Prayer:  Jesus, may I never be overwhelmed by anything except You.

Promise:  "We exhort you to even greater progress." —1 Thes 4:10

Praise:  Beth's constant prayer is "Praise the Lord!"

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2017

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