October 3, 2010
Today's Gospel gives us a deeper understanding of GOD and our service to Him. Commonly, when we do something for somebody, we expect a reward or a sort of "payment". That somebody owes us. We call it, "utang na loob". It is a very powerful position against somebody. Unless what was done was part of our responsibility and duty to the other. In that case, we just did our job and the other do not owe us anything at all. We were expected to do what we have done. The same as in the Gospel. After asking the servant who just came in from work in the field to serve him, the master did not owe the servant anything because the servant just did his job. At most, that servant should just tell himself that he was an unprofitable servant because he only did what was expected of him.
Public servants should be seen by us in the same breath. Public servants should see themselves in the same breath. When they were elected in their position, they were expected to fulfill the responsibilities and duties of the position. Unfortunately, this seems to be not true. Many public servants, when they dispense their duties wanted people to feel they owe him what he had done. Many people are led to see their projects us something they owe their public servants. For example, road constructions are part of their duty. Funds, coming from the taxes of people, are entrusted to them for the benefit of the people. His position gives him the power to do it. When he does it, he just did what he was tasked to do by virtue of his position. Thus, like the servant in the Gospel, he should say to himself that he was an unprofitable servant because he did not do anything beyond his duty. He should advertise his projects as "Your taxes are working for you." rather than, "This is a project of Mayor X.". If, for example, the public official had provided individual houses and everyday food sustenance for his constituents, then, they owe him. He gave them more than he was expected to give. He was a profitable servant worthy of the gratitude of the people.
This could not happen in the case of God. That is why we are always indebted to God. There is nothing we can do that God will owe us. Whatever we do, no matter how great they are and intended even for God, we can not do more than what is expected of us. That is because everything comes from God. There is nothing we can say as our own even if we have toiled and spent for them. The very life that we have which is the source of everything we have came from God. Therefore, once we have done everything, all we can say to God is that we have been unprofitable. We just did what we were expected to do.
This is very relevant to people who think that God owes them because they prayed, sacrificed, fasted, did acts of charity, forgave, understood, exercised patience, and even offered their lives for Him. In the end, it was not God who was graced. It was the person himself. God is perfect. he is complete. He does not need anything from us and us. It is we who needs Him. It is we who needs something from Him. Therefore, even if we have exhausted every ounce of our life in service and love of Him, we still owe Him.
This is what humility is about. It consists in knowing our true place before God. That true place being we as creatures and He as Creator. He calls and we respond. Everything we are had been formed by Him for a purpose. When we fulfill that call, we fulfill His Will and ourselves. Therefore, it is our life to hear the call, live the call, and realize the call. In the end, we may not be profitable, but we have done what God had expected us to do. if we had satisfied God's expectation, who needs profit?