Proverbs: : 1-13, 19-20 – 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-6 – Matthew 25: 14-15, 19-21
I suspect that in contemporary society there would be many frowns over the words from the Book of Proverbs describing a “worthy wife.” What is important to keep in mind, however, is just what is being praised about the woman. It is not that she is performing domestic tasks. Rather, it is that what she is doing, she is doing well in ways that bring credit to others as well as to herself.
Doing things well is also the lesson of the Gospel account to which we listened. Three were given sums of money for their safekeeping. Two of these invested that money and were able to gain a return.. It is the good judgement and prudence of those who invested the funds that is praised. The praise was for doing well with what they had been given. What might be understood in this is that just “getting by” is not enough. There must be effort made with what has been given. All of us have been given the gift of life as well as gifts with our lives. The question that is posed to us is: How well does each one of us do with what has been given to us? Presence.
What we also heard today from what Saint Paul wrote to the Christians at Thessalonika fits into this theme. The Thessalonians were quite concerned about the Second Coming of Christ. Paul emphasizes to them that they must go on with their lives. Their focus is to be on the here and now and how they were presently living their lives in light of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. If they would do this well, if they would do the best that could be done, then they were prepared for the Second Coming. This is what is praiseworthy.
We can understand this as God’s message to us today. What God in our world in the person of Jesus Christ seeks is a commitment in life to living out the Gospel message. He is not seeking those who are content simply to be Christens, but those who act and live as Christians. He seeks those who strive to make the best choices for themselves, choices that reflect a commitment to reveal the presence of God, the dignity of all persons, and the value of creation around us; choices are a constant effort to be better and to do better.
Incorporating this message of Christ is an attitude and approach to life that affects every type of life, every type of individual. It is how we value ourselves, how we value all others, and how we value creation for what all of these are as gifts of our loving Creator and God. If we are what we profess to be, images and likenesses of god, then that is what is to be evident in our lives and how we life.
Striving to live and to act in this way is simply a response to our loving God It is a thanksgiving made to God for what has been entrusted to us. It shows to God an appreciation for creating us and giving us life. It allows us to experience all persons and all things that are important to us and have meaning for us. This is an effort on our pat to be like the admirable wife and like the good and faithful servant. It is in our lives and in the best way that we live them that we give praise and thanksgiving to our good and gracious god.