October 2, 2016 - Love of the Profitless Servants

Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?
Would he not rather say to him,
‘Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded,
say, ‘We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.’

Luke 17:5-10

The theme of this blog is that God’s relationship to us is an existential one.  We are not required to perform any task to earn God’s love.  In fact, God’s love is unearnable.  Nothing we can do can give us a legitimate claim on it.

This Sunday’s Gospel affirms that theme.  No matter how attentive, industrious and obedient the servants are, they nonetheless decline to claim reward [1].

[1] See, e.g.: Raymond Brown, et al. The New St. Jerome Biblical Commentary Upper Saddle River, NY: Prentice Hall, 1990) 709

Photo: Vermont Country Road, Kristina Applegate