Tuesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
St. Ignatius of Loyola begins the Spiritual Exercises with what is called the “First Principal and Foundation”, in which he teaches, in close approximation with the classic formula of the Baltimore Catechism, that man was created to “praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.” In our Gospel today Jesus reminds His apostles that they should not serve God with the expectation of some manner of retirement; they would constantly be laboring for the God who, as St. Ignatius also teaches, constantly labors for us. To serve God—God, who is all-powerful, our own Creator!—is not only a tremendous honor, but is its own reward.
However, earlier in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus assures us that while we were created to serve God and thus ought to do so without expectation of reward or rest (though God is a generous master and gives us both even in this life as graces!), for those servants who have labored faithfully, even while the master was away, and are found attentive and vigilant, the master “…will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them,” (Luke 12:37).