|Anthony Claret was born in Spain in 1807 and like his father, he was a weaver by trade. In his spare time, he studied Latin, and at the age of 22, he entered the seminary, and was ordained in 1835. He preached and worked in the missions for 10 years and then, in 1849, he founded the Claretians. Shortly thereafter, he was named Archbishop of Santiago, Cuba. While he was archbishop, he successfully reformed the clergy and the laity. He returned to Spain to be Queen Isabella II’s confessor, to oversee his congregation, and to publish a few books.In 1868, due to the Spanish Revolution, both Archbishop Claret and the queen were exiled. After Vatican I, the archbishop sought refuge at a Cistercian monastery in France, where he died in 1870. He was canonized in 1950.
.GospelLK 12:39-48Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied,
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel we meet a prudent steward who serves his master wisely. I would like to say something about prudence and wisdom. In the Middle Ages, prudence was called “the queen of the virtues,” because it was the virtue that enabled one to do the right thing in a particular situation.Prudence is a feel for the moral situation, something like the feel that a quarterback has for the playing field. Justice is a wonderful virtue, but without prudence, it is blind and finally useless. One can be as just as possible, but without a feel for the present situation, his justice will do him no good.Wisdom, unlike prudence, is a sense of the big picture. It is the view from the hilltop. Most of us look at our lives from the standpoint of our own self-interest. But wisdom is the capacity to survey reality from the vantage point of God. Without wisdom, even the most prudent judgment will be erroneous, short-sighted, inadequate.The combination, therefore, of prudence and wisdom is especially powerful. Someone who is both wise and prudent will have both a sense of the bigger picture and a feel for the particular situation.