Wednesday, October 22, 2014

“We may be born equal but unfortunately we all do not prepare equally...”

"Don’t fancy that your age can make you look forward to a long life. It is too uncertain, my dear boys. Rather, it is quite certain that some day you shall die and that a bad death brings eternal misery. Therefore, be more concerned with keeping yourselves in the state of grace in order to meet death than with anything else." – St John Bosco

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 we can see from today's gospel, anxiety over the end of the world (or in New Testament language, the Second Coming of Christ) dates right back to the first century and has been a recurring theme ever since. The remedy for that concern which Jesus provides in today's gospel remains the same now as it was when Luke recorded Jesus' solution to the wonderings. Jesus suggests to us that we ought not to take a chance on salvation. We should avoid gambling on the timing of His Second Coming. How do we do this? How do we make sure we are ready and waiting when the end time arrives? Jesus makes it quite clear and it is not terribly complicated. Focus our attention and our energies on today, i.e. on the life and responsibilities which present themselves to us as we wake up each morning. Looking ahead to tomorrow, or next month, or five years from now and wondering, 'Will it be then?' can only create an anxiety which leaves us absent from today's living and graces. Such a preoccupation with what might be leads us to neglect and miss what is present to us today in our relationship with God and with one another. It weighs down the faith life and dampens our appreciation of God's choice to journey with us through this life each and every day in the person of Jesus Himself.

We are encouraged today to follow the suggestion of Jesus to live each day focused on our life with Him. Concentrate on making His teachings, His values, His choices our own here and now - today, in these very real circumstances of life. We are called today to live with an abiding awareness that living a compassionate, caring and virtuous life today will make us ready for anything at any time. If we are focused on living our faith life well each day, then should someone yell out to us , "It's the end of the world !!!", we will be able to yell back with confidence, "It's Okay - we're ready !!!"

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