The Prize of Vigilance

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 said: “Be sure of 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 prepared, for the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” Then Peter asked, “Lord, is this parable meant for us, or for everyone?” The Lord replied, “Who then is the faithful and wise steward, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, 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 is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with fewer blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be required” (Luke 12: 39-48).

Reflection

The theme of today’s Gospel is a continuation of yesterday’s message about the importance of being vigilant and prepared. 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. How fortunate are those who are vigilant, even though they do not know the day or the hour. Three of our friends, who led diverse lives, died one after the other, but being prepared was what they all had in common. One day it was a lay Eucharistic minister, who succumbed to liver cancer. Three days later, another friend followed, after battling with cancer of the colon for more than a year. He had looked forward to his final journey. We were at his wake when we learned that an acquaintance who was an active devotee of the Divine Mercy also joined his Maker the night before, but he was ready to go. However, a neighbor who was also an old classmate was not as fortunate. He was suddenly taken by death “like a thief in the night”, leaving him quite unprepared spiritually for his departure.

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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