practice the presence of the master (part 1)
"Happy that servant whom his Master discovers at work on His return!" —Matthew 24:46
The key to being a watchful steward is the ongoing relationship with the Master. When the Master is present, it's obviously easier for a steward to be vigilant, with eyes focused on the Master, ready to act on His every wish (see Ps 123:2).
When it's not obvious to us that our Master is present, we are tempted to be sinful, disobedient, self-centered stewards. To give in to this temptation puts us, Jesus' stewards, in jeopardy of being punished severely (Mt 24:51). Jesus is always with us (Mt 1:23; 28:20), yet we often are unaware of His presence. Thus, we must constantly cultivate a sense of the Master's presence. Some ways to practice the presence of the Master are:
- Receive the eucharistic Jesus in Mass, daily if possible. His Real Presence in the Eucharist is His presence "par excellence" (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 11, Pope John Paul II).
- Read the Scriptures daily. Jesus is alive and present in His Word (Jn 1:14; Heb 4:12).
- In community prayer, the Master promises that He is present with us (Mt 18:20).
- The Master's very name, Emmanuel, "a name which means 'God with us' " (Mt 1:23; 28:20), proclaims His constant presence with us. Pray by speaking the name of Jesus.
Even Jesus' faithful servants fail to recognize Him (see Mt 25:40-46). Therefore, constantly practice the presence of the Master.
Prayer: Jesus, may I "be ready to greet" You every moment.
Promise: "He will strengthen you till the end." —1 Cor 1:8
Praise: "Great is the Lord and highly to be praised; His greatness is unsearchable" (Ps 145:3).
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 30, 2012
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