Wednesday, October 24, 2012

“Forever is composed of now’s.”

There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.  – James Baldwin

(Gospel Text: LK 12:39-48)
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."

Then Peter said,
"Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?"
And the Lord replied,
"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
'My master is delayed in coming,'
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant's master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master's will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master's will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."

“As Soon As” – This phrase is something people say regularly.

‘I’ll volunteer more as soon as my schedule dies down a bit. I’ll give money to charity as soon as I have some extra cash to spare. I’ll start praying more often as soon as my life settles down a bit.’ Though we all have good intentions, many days seem to end with us wishing we had been able to do more.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is calling us to live as though the world were to end each and every moment. Whenever I hear this Gospel I find it exhausting even to contemplate such a high-intensity Catholic life. How can we maintain such a lifestyle?

I don’t believe there has to be a drastic difference between being Christ-like and living our daily lives. I believe Jesus is simply calling us to integrate his love and compassion into our lives every day. With this, our “As Soon As’s” quickly turn into “How Can I’s”: ‘How can I make my co-worker’s day? How can I show kindness to the cashier? How can I show love to my family?’

St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order who educated me, encouraged others to see God in their daily lives. It seems a natural extension to try to reflect God’s love in our daily lives as well.

Each and every baptized person is a disciple and is empowered with grace. We all know the rules. We all need to be ready and stay ready, because we do not know the day or the hour. If we knew exactly when Jesus was coming for us, we would certainly be prepared. But we don’t know, so we have to stay alert and be ready at any time.

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