The Responsorial Verse is a hymn of hope and confidence: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, he has
come to his people” (Luke 1: 69-75).
In Romans 4: 20-25 Paul holds up Abraham as an example — in fact, Israel’s prime example — of faith and hope in God: “Abraham did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief.” And as a result “he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God”.
We were consecrated at Baptism to be “stewards of the kingship of Christ’; that is, to take responsibility for managing in God’s name all that we have control of: our time, our possessions, our energy and talent; to use everything we have to establish the reign of God over every area and activity of human life on earth. We are to work for this until Christ comes again (see Matthew 25: 14-30).
But to be faithful in this we have to believe in his promise. We have to have an empowering hope that “when the Son of Man comes in his glory… then he will sit on the throne of his glory,” with “all the nations gathered before him,” and will say to his faithful stewards, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25: 31-34).
Abraham was faithful because “he was fully convinced that what God had promised he was able to do.” We too have to believe that “by the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” We need to believe in that to work for it.
In Luke 12: 13-21 Jesus shows us by contrast the false hope of those who just work for themselves on this earth. “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” He told of a rich man who was looking forward to enjoying all he had acquired. “But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’”
It is easy for us to get sucked into the shortsighted preoccupations of our culture. We need to keep asking, “Why am I doing this? Is this the best use of my time, my talent? How does this help the reign of God?”
This is the way to peace. If we try to be faithful stewards we have a confidence that comes from God, not from ourselves. The refrain of our hearts will be, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, he has come to his people.”
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Live in hope, and work with confidence.