Today’s gospel offers a teaching parable about what is essential, how life works, the day by day of it.  The readiness, the alertness that Jesus asks, suggests what we call “accountability” in the details.  This is the good service, living well, responsible for where we live and how we thrive:  our health, our friendships, our town, the air and water and justice and peace around us.  We are called to be useful, to know what we’re doing, what we avoid, what we waste, whom we care for or neglect. You could call this “growing up” in the world.  It’s the attitude of a servant who does not own the place, but loves it anyway, loves it all the more because it is gift.

And already now the true lover and holder of our lives is on his way.  As I wake, as I worry or work or wonder what this is all for, the Lord is never far, always coming near.  In the midst of the tensions and questions of being human, there is this knock at the door, and there is the Lord himself with full heart and presence, putting on an apron to wait on us.  Hasn’t it been happening already!

Who is God for you in the day to day?   God’s name is just this:  the one who is on the way, always, very near.  The one who knocks even now.

—Fr. Richard Bollman, S.J., a Jesuit of the Chicago-Detroit province, has  been the pastor at St. Robert Bellarmine Chapel of Xavier University, Cincinnati.  He now works with Xavier’s Center for Mission and Identity.