Rarely do we consider our life on earth as a sojourn, a pilgrimage, a tenancy, and there is stewardship and accountability involved. We think and act in such a
way that we own the earth and all that in it and that we are entitled to do with it whatever we like, irrespective of the claims of others, their claim to live, to survive and irrespective of the entitlement or a bequest to the succeeding generations. In our attitude often we do not even take into consideration of the collective ownership or entitlement or leasing of this earth by its creator to all his creation, and to humans for responsible stewardship and equitable sharing.

When we look with this perspective upon today’s gospel passage of the servant required to put on the apron, cook a meal and stand in waiting and not getting a
“thank you” is odd and may be unacceptable. It is still difficult to say or accept the position that we are worthless servants and have done only what we ought
to have done. In very simple words Jesus is telling us that we do not have any entitlement and that we cannot presume that we own these and we don’t have to
submit a report or an account of our stewardship.

The reality is, God is entitled to obedience and God’s Commandments are non-negotiable! In other words, Jesus tells that all entitlement goes to God and we are just tenants, workers and stewards, and have to behave as such; otherwise we could be dispossessed of all these. St Paul is reminding us of this, God gave us a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). We are happy to accept the spirit of power but not necessarily the spirit of love and self-discipline.

By such spirit of power and entitlement and all the subsequent power play, violence, war, hatred, discrimination and dispossessing of the true heirs/‘tenants’, the ‘entitled squatters’ are hastening an answer from God to the questions prophet Habakkuk is asking God today (Habakkuk 1:2-4 and 2:2-4, the full book with 3 chapters is good reading). God does answer, and he will in and for our times and for our actions. It will be definitely salutary for us to acknowledge God’s dominion, and acknowledge God as the creator and also as the dispenser. God is in control!

Fr. George