Be Prepared

Luke 12: 35-38
Rom 5:12,15b,17-21 / Ps 40

Gird your loins and light your lamps, and be like men who await their master’s return from a wedding, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks.
(Luke 12:35-36)

Blessed are they who are prepared
To serve in any circumstance;
From fears and dangers they are spared
Who live a life of vigilance.

Jesus said, “Gird your loins and light your lamps, and be like men who await their master’s return from a wedding, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants!” (Luke 12:35-38)

Reflection

A high school batch mate once emailed me about the urgency of organizing another reunion (which we had not held for a number of years). “Look around you, man. We’re dying off like flies!” It was true. Hardly a few weeks pass that we do not learn about somebody we know succumbing to stroke, cardiac arrest, cancer, renal failure, car accident, or even landing in jail. So, what have we been doing about it?

Some of us were prudent in our younger years, preparing for the unknown future by diligently building up our businesses or careers, securing educational plans for our children, getting insurance protection, and setting aside money for emergencies. In the process of accumulating such ‘financial and material buffers’ however, many of us may have neglected our physical conditions, or worse, our family relationships, especially our marriage. In our ‘silver years’ we come to realize that being prepared financially is not enough if we have neglected fitness, family, and most of all, faith.

The most important thing in life is to be vigilant spiritually. How do we know that we are spiritually prepared? When we make prayers a constant habit: upon waking up, before meals, the noon hour, the 3 o’clock Divine Mercy minute, before bedtime. When we make reading God’s Word (the Bible) a daily routine. When we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist of the Mass not only during Sundays. When we associate with Spirit-led Christians who likewise put a premium on being spiritually inclined. When we are prepared all the time: to lend a helping hand, rather than be turned off by other people’s problems; to respond with gentle words, rather than let our emotions make worse an already bad situation; to be humble in victory, and maintain composure in defeat; to steer clear when temptations come along, but resolutely strive onward when the good is at stake; to proclaim the Word of God anytime, anywhere, to ‘anything that moves’. As St. Paul said, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ” (Phil.1:27).

Our Lord reminds us in today’s Gospel that we do not know the time or the hour when our time will come to leave this life. That day or hour can come anytime, “like a thief in the night.” It is only when we live each day with vigilance to do good deeds that we are always prepared to go anytime – ready to meet our Maker.

When the final hour in my life arrives, may I be prepared to meet You, Lord. Amen.

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