The WORD in Other Words by Fr Leonardo Mercado SVD (Philippines) for Tuesday Week 32 in Ordinary Time
Employees of big business firms usually have weekday office hours from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM with breaks in between. Factories which have night shifts have the equivalent number of working hours. Outside this schedule the management usually has no say. The employees are free after office hours, on Sundays and holidays.
But this is not the case of committed Christians as exemplified in the case of St. Paul after his conversion from being a Pharisee to being a follower of Christ. As St Paul says in 1 Cor. 9:16: “If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it.”
His commitment to Christ was self—imposed. For St. Paul being a follower of Christ is a 24—hour and seven—day task, a task which he imposed on himself out of gratitude (utang na loob). Paul‘s attitude enlightens today‘s gospel quote: ” We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.”