Do your part
By Niobe Rodrigues
“Lord, is this parable meant for us, or for everyone?”
How do we do our work? Many people know me as the mother of three sons. As most parents know, children seldom hear anything related to work—whether of the school or house variety—the first time they are instructed. Many a time, I have considered making recordings of myself, so I don’t have to say things more than once.
Children, just like adults, are on their own little mission in life: watch YouTube, play videogames, read novels, and only pay attention to adults when the threat is real.
Adults, on the other hand, may be concerned with their jobs, paying bills and binging on their favourite streaming service and leave spiritual works for later when they retire or when they have more time.
Peter, after listening to everything Jesus had said, wanted to make sure that it was not only the disciples who had to make all the sacrifices. He does not see that vigilance and attention to duty has its own reward.
At this juncture, Peter fails to understand that the disciples have been given this responsibility because they are trusted to carry it out.
Let’s go back to the children. My eldest enjoys reading, public speaking and presenting. In the earlier days of the pandemic, he was tasked with explaining to his father and me, using PowerPoint, what he found so fascinating about play-throughs (this is when one observes another playing a game online).
After that he presented on other topics including psychology and mental health, helping us—and him— to see where his true interests lie. Working with his strengths has helped him to be more confident and able to express himself so much so that when he encountered a challenge earlier this year, he was able to approach us with it.
The second of our sons enjoys cooking and baking which, of course, brings its own reward. He can make an entire meal, a skill which will, of course, serve him well as he gets older. He is thinking of studying culinary arts.
The youngest is the most sociable and is concerned when his friends do not show up at church or do not attend First Communion class. He is extremely determined and does not accept the word ‘no’ right away. I believe he would make an excellent businessman.
In the parable, everyone has their job: the master who had gone away, the steward who had to oversee the household and the servants who had individual tasks to perform.
The important thing is not to watch to see who is doing his or her part; it is more important that I do mine. Once all contribute, the household would be intact for the master’s return.
What roles are there in the parable: am I a junior servant or more senior? Am I the one guarding the home against burglars? Am I the steward? Am I ready to be charged with more property? Have I been faithfully caring for the small amount of work I have had to do so far?
No work is useless, otherwise it would not exist. Let us ask God to bless us while we do our part to the best of our ability.
Dear God, sometimes we think of our work as so small, so useless, so inconsequential not knowing how much it impacts others. Bless us as we do our part and encourage others to also perform theirs wholeheartedly. Amen.
Niobe Rodrigues is a Sign Language Interpreter, a skill she developed whilst working with the Touch of Christ Catholic Deaf Community. She is a wife, mother of three boys and a parishioner and catechist at St Joseph’s RC Church in Mayo.