From everyone who has been given much, much will be required. And from him who has been entrusted with much, even more will be demanded.” (Lk 12,48) Words of Christ that clearly tell us we need to sharpen our sense of accountability.
If in our ordinary businesses, we have to do some serious accounting, it should be much more when what is involved is our own personal spiritual life. Nothing can be more serious than our spiritual life.
We should expand and deepen our sense of accountability to cover not only our businesses and other earthly concerns, but also our spiritual life. We should be accountable not only to ourselves, to our family and to some other earthly superiors, bosses and authorities, but also and most especially to God. After all, he is the original and ultimate boss, our common father and creator of all.
And, of course, the parameters and standards to be used should not just be the temporal and worldly, but rather the spiritual, moral and supernatural. We need to educate ourselves in this sense of accountability proper to us.
In the gospel, many are the references that talk about this need for accountability. One is the parable of the talents where a master gave his three servants different amounts to do business with while he went away. (cfr. Mt 25,14-30) The master asked for an accounting when he returned.
We even have to account for the words we speak, as attested in this passage of St. Matthew’s gospel: “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (12,36-37)
St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans also said that “each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (14,12) And in his second letter to the Corinthians, he said: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (5,10)
We have to prepare for this judgment when we have to give account of what we have done with what God has given us. Let’s remember that God has given us everything that is good to us, even the way to recover our dignity as children of God once we lose it due to our sins. He has given us life, talents, the theological virtues, mercy, etc.
We have to do this preparation by making regular examinations of conscience daily. We usually do it at the end of the day, somehow prefiguring what would happen at the end of our life. We should be ready to face God to give an accounting of our life with eagerness, not with fear.
What makes these regular examinations of conscience very helpful is that not only would we be able to closely monitor the progress—or the lack of it—of our spiritual life daily. We also would have the chance to do something about what may be lacking or wrong in our spiritual life.
It cannot be denied that our spiritual life can face tricky questions, tremendous challenges and difficulties, etc. By making these regular examinations of conscience, we would be led to make the appropriate plans and strategies, to do the relevant study and research, and of course, to come up with the resources, especially the spiritual ones, needed to tackle them.
Let’s pray that this sense of accountability be imbued into our lifestyle so that things would really go well for all of us. This may be a quixotic dream for now, but we can always give it a try, starting with ourselves and spreading it little by little with those around us!