Idle Hands

Readings for Thursday August 26, 2010

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145
Gospel: Matthew 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” (Mt 24:42-51)

There is an old saying that goes, "Idle hands are the devil's tools." What this means is that when people do not stay busy or feel bored, then that is when the devil swoops hands and puts those hands to work for destructive or evil purposes. Kids are a great example of when they do not stay busy, then they get in trouble. I know that in my experience of working with kids, they have to be kept busy, otherwise they will find some trouble to get into.

In today's gospel, Jesus warns us about staying busy and vigilant in our lives. He describes two different types of servants, one who kept busy and did what they were supposed to; and because of his vigilance and faithfulness he was rewarded greatly. The other type of servants that we are told about is a wicked servant who upon realizing that his master was delayed, began to give in to his idle hands. He decided to abuse his power and responsibility, he began getting drunk every night and keeping bad company. When the master returned to find the wicked servant abusing his responsibility and position, he was severely punished for this.

So the fate of the servants from today's gospel can be the same fate for us. What will God find us doing when our hour is called? Will He find us busy and vigilant in doing His good work? Or will He find us with idle hands, only seeking out our selfish purposes?

Idle hands are the devil's tools ... let us make sure that we are always keeping our hands busy with the work of God.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you have blessed us with and for all that you do. Lord, help us to never abuse the gifts of this life and to always be good stewards of all that you give to us. Lord, help us to never stray away from you path and to always stay busy with your good work. Lord, we pray for all of our priests and religious; and we pray for an increase in vocations. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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