Our meditation focuses on the stark message that is pointed out by Jesus today, “we are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” His words are virtually a “laser beam of truth” which aims at a common, deadly virus of the soul. And, given our human nature, we are all susceptible to it.
First, let us be clear on the nature and content of the laser light. It is nothing less than the truth that “God formed us to be imperishable and according to the image of God’s divine nature.” (Wisdom 2:23) We are equally created to image God’s divine nature!
Further, nothing earthly or perishable can ultimately meet our needs and desires! (That alone is worthy of being plastered on our walls, or on our fridge!)
The energy source for this laser light of truth is nothing less than Jesus, emptying himself of his divinity, born in human likeness, in the form of a slave. He holds nothing back.
And through all of his trials as well as hopes, the persecution and martyrdom of his human existence, (ultimately the Cross) he learned obedience and was perfected and so became the source of eternal salvation for anyone who obeys him. (Power source of the laser)
And the destructive virus is none other than jealousy, resentment, envy, ego-centric self-sufficiency. “But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world.” (Wisdom 2:24) My ego leads me into the lie that I am self-sufficient, smart and capable apart from God. That is the key, I actually am sufficient and capable. But it is apart from God that I can do nothing.
All we can do and accomplish comes from God and it’s the same for everyone around us, although some may not be convinced of it. All is given freely, everything is gratuitous. And all has God’s faithful, creative love as it’s source.
“Where does the poet get her words, the painter his colors, the architect her shapes, the sculptor his forms, the doctor her healing power, the mechanic his skill, the computer programmer her creativity, and the author his inspiration if not from God?” (Adapted from Joseph G. Donders)
Let the next breath of satisfaction for an accomplishment “well done,” be followed by an expression of gratitude. And let the “glitter of brilliance” shown by someone else’s talent and skill, be acknowledged as a revelation of God’s gratuitous presence in your midst.
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P., is a member of the Passionist Community in Detroit, Michigan.