Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year C

Lots of words, difficult words and, to some extent, obscure contexts!
So a choice has to be made.
We settle for verse 40 as our kick off point. “You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
In recent weeks, Jesus has dealt with the subject of fear and urged us not to fear death or to fear the lack of possessions. Both teachings are profoundly challenging.
This week he returns to teaching on fear, but it is rather “whom should I, or they, fear?” His quick answer is that all should be aware of the judgement of God to be carried out at the coming of the Son of Man. This then raises more questions and the big one that has bedevilled people for 2000 years is ‘when?’ The early Christians thought it was very very soon, the Climatologists tell us that the End is nigh. Pope Paul VI believed we were on the new springtime of the Church and there are still plenty of rulers who act as if their time is the only time and all we need to do is to let them act as if they know all things. Jesus proposes that the way forward is to practise table hospitality. ….”put on your apron.” This turns authority upside down. This concept is further reinforced in the parable at the end of today’s reading which in effect takes us back to that action at the Last Supper “I am among you as one who serves.” Authority is here expressed in table service.
For Teams, this teaching amplifies an understanding of our Charism. The table, the food and drink, the conversation and the service. Yes, authority is expressed in table service and if we practise that, we will not fear the coming of the Son of Man.

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