19th Sun C
The Commentaries Summarised
As a Church we are in a web of wisdom that comes to us both from tradition and contemporary writers. This section offers a summary of some commentaries on the Gospel. Also below is a list of the books and articles that have been consulted in compiling this Sunday's "Pray As You Can" and which could be used for further reading.
This Sunday's Commentary
There are three sections in this Sunday’s Gospel. The first section is really a conclusion to what goes before it in Luke’s Gospel, namely the beautiful passage calling the disciples to trust in the providence of God, taking their inspiration from the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. Seeing how God cares for them, the disciples are to believe that God delights in caring for them. Only on the basis of this providential care can the disciples divest themselves of their possessions and give alms. Their true possessions lie in another realm.
The second section offers a parable of faithful committed servants awaiting their Master’s return from a wedding feast. Such feasts in Jesus’ time were unpredictable affairs, often going on for days. The servants, who were ready for their master, received something far more surprising than his return, namely being waited on by the master himself. This is one of those parables where Jesus reverses utterly the expected order. In no way would this happen. In this very surprising image from the human realm we have an insight into the all-encompassing providence of God: the servants who had only been doing their duty are to be lavishly rewarded.
Peter’s question initiates the third section and can be understood as Luke application of the principle of watchfulness to the leaders of the church. The expectation placed on them is clear. They, who have received so much, will have much demanded of them.
Throughout all these sections, there are eschatological images, which are firmly planted in the reality of this world. While the disciples experience the Providence of God, their true possessions actually lie in another realm. The image of ‘coming’ occurs eight times. Though these have no direct parallels to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark here, the way this image is used parallels the eschatological sections of those Gospels. Though the disciples are waiting for the coming of the Son of Man, they are also to be alert and ready for his coming in their daily lives of service.