Proverbs 31:10-13, 16-18, 20, 26, 28-31; Psalm 128; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6; Matthew 25:14-30
One of the problems with following the Readings for the day is some parts are cut off, in today’s First Reading, the parts are probably deemed offensive to women. But these parts should be included when we read the First Reading. It gives the role of a woman in the family from God’s perspective. It is God’s plan for them to take care of the family. Verses 14-15 say: She is like a merchant vessel bringing her food from far away. She gets up while it is still dark giving her household their food, giving orders to her serving girls. Verse 19 says: she sets her hands to the distaff, her fingers grasp the spindle. Verse 21-25 say: Snow may come, she has no fears for her household with all her servants warmly clothed. She makes her own quilts, she is dressed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gates taking his seat among the elders of the land. She weaves linen sheets and sells them, she supplies the merchant with sashes. She is clothed in strength and dignity she can laugh at the days to come. Lastly, verse 27 says: she keeps good watch on the conduct of her household, no bread of idleness for her.
Contrary to what society tells us, the man and woman have their specific role in the family. The man deals with forces and issues outside the family while the woman deals with issues inside the family. This is not an issue of capability, but it is about the role God has given them. This is what the Gospel talks about. The master gave his servants talents based on their ability. God will not put us in situations we cannot handle. When we do what we are supposed to do, then our efforts will bear fruit. But if we refuse to do what is expected of us, like the slave who put his talent in the ground, then we will not bear fruit.
Yes, many women are more capable than men and there are many men more capable than women. But the point is we have to do what we were designed to do. The Psalm tells us: Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways. You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you. In our life, we need to fear the Lord. The Psalm redefines fear of the Lord as walking in his ways. We do what God wants us to do, not what we want to do.
Many people are not happy with their lives because of the wrong idea that they can strive to achieve what they want to achieve. When our goal for ourselves is something based on our imagination, we may achieve it, but we will not be satisfied with it.
We are do what God has planned for us: to glorify his name. This is done by walking in his ways. The Second Reading says, you are not in darkness for that day to surprise you like a thief. You are all children of light and children of the day… So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. We stay sober and not intoxicated by our own ideas and our desires. Instead, we take on the dream God wants us to have, so that we can do what we are expected to do and be who God wants us to be, for the glory of his name.
Lord, let me aspire to be the person you want me to be. Put in my heart your dream for me, your will for me, your passion for me. Give me courage to accept it and obey you for the glory of your name.