We view our lives knowing that there is much we must accomplish in the many arenas of each of our lives: social, personal, professional and spiritual. And many times we may think that, finally, something is “the last thing” we need to do, that after that everything will be completed. But there is always one more thing.
The work of salvation begun by the Lord is brought to completion by what we do in this world; each of us is the hand of God in the here and now, in the same way the apostles were his hands when He lived among us.
We do many things to serve others and this work never ends, because there will always be another person who needs to hear the good news of salvation. There will always be someone who needs our help. When we believe that everything is accomplished, there will still be more and more to do, and we are the ones who have to do it.
The phase “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do,” is difficult to understand, because human nature somehow always looks or expects some reward in the same way that people speak about “legacies and accomplishments.” Well, the Gospel is telling us that we have done what we are obliged by our faith to do. For those moved by faith, the only thing they seek is to serve the Lord, not with the expectations of this world, because for those who believe the reward is in the act itself.
The days of a worker are never done. There is always something more that will help us understand the Gospel, and the master of the person who has work outside all day directs the worker to continue working inside, serving him. The work of the day is the many ways we serve others. Although we may believe that we need do no more, we are mistaken, for it is also necessary to have a relationship with the Master to be close to Him. Without this relationship with the Master the work outside could become incomprehensible. It is our faith that moves us to work, but our faith should be nourished by our “one on one” relationships with the Lord. Knowing the Lord helps us to understand many other things.
It is in the encounter with Jesus that we find the strength to work in the vineyard of the Lord, but it also helps us understand the reason why is we do what we do. For believers, the work is for the Lord, not for us. Just read closely some of the words of today’s gospel passage: “unprofitable servants” – while we may be so in the eyes of this world, it will never be so in the eyes of God. Look, also, at this sentence “You may eat and drink when I am finished” – there will be rest for us, but not yet, because while we live there will always be one more thing to do.
Let us work together for the kingdom of God, to serve the Lord, without expecting any thing… seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Mt 6:33).