In the time of haciendas in the Philippines, the rich owners had mayordomos whose functions were similar to those of the steward in the parable. In the absence of the master, the faithful and prudent steward provides for the needs of the servants and manages his master’s property. On the other hand, the unfaithful steward will abuse the lower servants and helps himself to what belongs to his master. The master will return at the hour the stewards do not expect and give them their due: reward or punishment.

While waiting for the definitive coming of God’s Kingdom, we are not to escape from this present earthly life; instead we get involved, in the here and now, in the establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth. In his book Spiritual Polarities, Henri Nouwen writes: “The paradox of expectation is that those who believe in tomorrow can better live today; those who expect joy to come out of sadness can discover the beginnings of a new life amid the old; those who look forward to the returning Lord can discover him already in their midst.” We live in the “here and now, but not yet”; the manner we live the “here and now” will determine the outcome of “not yet.”

GOSPEL • LUKE 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples: “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail:; Website: