Always Be Vigilant

Luke 12: 39-48
Eph 3: 2-12 / Is 12: 2- 6

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 (continued),”But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming’, and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating. From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” (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” (1Thess. 5:2-3).

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. Many years ago, three of our friends, who led diverse lives, died one after the other. Being prepared, however, was what they all had in common.

First it was “Bon”, a lay Eucharistic minister, who succumbed to liver cancer. A few days later, Nelson followed. After battling with colon cancer for more than a year, he had looked forward to his final journey. We were at his wake one night when we learned that Sonny, an active devotee of the Divine Mercy of Jesus finally joined his Maker the night before, a victim of renal failure. All three were fortunate because the Lord gave them enough time to prepare themselves for their transition to the next life. Then there are some who are caught unprepared, because, being young and active, death was the farthest thing in their mind. A young couple lost their 14-year-old son last week to a virulent strain of dengue fever. Angelo was so full of life, always happy and endearing to everyone who knew him. He had a very promising future as a musician. A friend commented in his eulogy that God had indeed called His “angel” back to heaven. They say the good die young, but the sudden passing of Angelo tells us that death can come anytime, and we must always be prepared for that certainty. And those of us who are discouraged by trials, troubles and fears in this life 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) Certainly, young Angelo was. He’s now playing his guitar with a band of angels in heaven.

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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