|Fall colors at Lock 33, Erie Canal|
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. Luke 12:48This scripture passage has often, in my experience, been used by parents and teachers for all the wrong reasons. I was a good student in high school and typically found myself in what would today be called honors classes. We were often told to be mindful of this scripture in terms of our academic achievement. Our academic behavior should be exemplary because we had been gifted with above average academic ability.
It was a powerful motivational tool for me and I assume many of my classmates. It was powerfully motivating because it set an unattainable standard. No matter how well I or the others did, we could always do better or do more. It was like the time in grade school when I brought home a report card with A's and was deflated when she did not show much excitement saying, "I expected you to get A's." She then returned to her sewing.
Now I realize that that interpretation of the passage is terribly misguided. It is an example of taking words out of context and then using them for other purposes. Jesus never talked about human achievement in positive terms. In fact, he typically talked about a great reversal in which those who seemed to have come in first were actually last. So what do these words mean?
Clearly these words refer to the life of the Spirit of the Divine One which exists in each of us to the extent we embrace it. The more we embrace, the more our lives should reflect that interior reality. This is a constantly changing standard. There is no absolute level or standard. The more we accept the grace of the Divine One, the more our lives are to reflect it.