Be Watchful!

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.

“But understand this: If the owner of the house 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, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect.” Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?” Jesus answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, 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 possessions. 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 few 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 asked.” (Luke 12:39-48)

Reflection

In today’s Gospel, our Lord continues His lesson about vigilance and preparedness. A thief can easily break into a house whose owner relaxes his guard. 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 at night. When people are saying, ‘Peace and security,’ then sudden disaster comes upon them like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (1Thes 5:2-3) How like the M7.2 earthquake that struck the provinces of Cebu and Bohol without warning.

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 friends, who led diverse lives, died just days apart. Being prepared was what they had in common. The first one 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 was prepared and looked forward to his final journey. We were at his wake when we learned that an active devotee of the Divine Mercy of Jesus also joined his Maker the night before, a victim of renal failure.

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. Proverbs says: “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Prov 3:1-8). St. Peter said 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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