Be Prepared for the Hour

Luke 12: 39-48
Rom 6: 12-18 / Psa 124

You also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
(Luke 12:40)

Pray for the grace of vigilance
If salvation is what we desire.
In our quest for deliverance
Our full commitment is required.

Jesus said: “Know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect… Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that servant says to himself, `My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will punish him … Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:39-48)

Reflection

The message in today’s Gospel is about vigilance and preparedness. St. Paul echoed the same call in his letter to the Thessalonians, warning them that, “the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly.”

Death is the great equalizer. It comes to all whether rich or poor, young or old, sick or healthy, prepared or unprepared. But how fortunate are those who are vigilant, even though they do not know the day or the hour. Three of our acquaintances, who led diverse lives, died one after the other. But being prepared was what they had in common. One week it was Bro. “Bon”, a lay Eucharistic minister, who succumbed to liver cancer. Three days later, Bro. Nelson followed, after battling with cancer of the colon for more than a year. He had actually looked forward to his final journey. We were at his wake when we learned that Bro. Sonny, an active devotee of the Divine Mercy of Jesus also joined his Maker the night before, a victim of renal failure. It was only after they were buried did we realize how fortunate they were that they were stricken with these incurable diseases. They were given enough time to prepare for their ultimate homecoming. It was a different kind of death for another friend, quite young at 46, whose life was suddenly taken mercilessly by gunmen on motorbikes. We buried Tonyboy yesterday, and judging by the size of the people who came to condole with his family, it was evident that Tonyboy led a blameless life, and was also prepared to meet his Maker. We hold on to our faith that something greater for God’s glory will come out of this tragedy. We will not allow it to crush our spirit.

Those of us who are discouraged by trials, troubles and fears must keep on believing and hoping in a God who brings everything to a good end. Life’s tribulations count for nothing if “we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with God.” (2 Pet.3:10-14)

Teach us, Lord, to be always watchful in everything we think, say or do, as if today will be our last day on earth, so that we may never be afraid if ever it is. Amen.

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