Jesus said to his disciples, «Stay awake, then, for you do not know on what day your Lord will come. Just think about this: if the owner of the house knew that the thief would come by night around a certain hour, he would stay awake to prevent his house to be broken into. So be alert, for the Son of Man will come at the hour you least expect. Imagine a capable servant whom his master has put in charge of his household to give them food at the proper time. Fortunate indeed is that servant whom his master will find at work when he comes. Truly, I say to you, his lord will entrust that one with everything he has. Not so with the bad servant who thinks: ‘My master is delayed’. And he begins ill-treating his fellow servants while eating and drinking with drunkards. But his master will come on the day he does not know and at the hour he least expects. He will dismiss that servant and deal with him as with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth».
We live our life without being able to know or master either the beginning or the end of our destiny. It helps us to understand that every moment is important and must be taken seriously. We can be cool, certainly yes and should be. However, it can’t be of easy going or fun seeking rather, with due discernment and right choice.
This life, which is a gift from God, obliges us to receive and live it freely. Once this gratuity has been established in our thinking and being, we will look at the world, at life itself and at the others around us, with due recognition of their presence and all that God brings to us, through them. Our attitude and behavior towards them, is not a once-in-a-lifetime act, but a lifelong commitment, in a permanent and also punctual manner. Though we make mistake or errors in life, we should be totally aware that there are certain elements in life that can be later corrected and some will make a permanent mark.
It is in our faithfulness to our baptismal vocation that we remain alert and ever ready to act and engage. In our active engagement, the Lord will be at our service, because He serves the world in and through us. Thus, in our relationship with God we become contemplative and with the world we become active. On this feast day of St. Monica, let us imitate her perseverance in prayer and recognize in her son Augustine, the fruits of her prayer and fidelity.
Action of the day: Be aware of what’s happening in and around you.
«So be alert»
+ Fr. Albert TAULÉ i Viñas
Today, the evangelic text speaks of the uncertainty of the moment when the Lord will come: «You do not know on what day your Lord will come» (Mt 24:42). If we want him to find us on the alert when He comes, we cannot get absent-minded or asleep: we have to be always alert. Jesus gives many instances of this vigil: the owner who stays awake to prevent his house to be broken into by a thief, the servant who wants to please his master... Today, maybe He would refer instead to a goalkeeper who does not know when, or where from, the ball will shot at him...
But, maybe, we should first clarify which coming is He talking about. Is He referring to our death?; is He talking about the end of the world? Both are certainly comings of the Lord He has expressly left out uncertain to provoke a constant attention on us. But, going by an estimate of probabilities, perhaps none of our generation will bear witness of a universal cataclysm that means the end of human life in this planet. And, insofar as death is concerned, this will be only once and that will be it. But, while this moment does not arrive, is there any other closer coming before which we are to be always on our guard?
«How years go by! Months are reduced to weeks, weeks to days, days to hours, hours to seconds...» (St. Francis de Sales). Every day, every hour, every instant in our life, the Lord is close to us. Through internal inspirations, through the persons around us, through the events that are happening and, as the Apocalypse says: «Behold, I am standing at the door, and I am knocking: if any one hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me» (Rev 3:20). Today, if we take the communion, the same think will happen. Today, if we patiently listen to the problems someone else may be telling us about or if we generously give our money to help the needy, the same thing will happen again. And, if in our personal prayer, today, we —suddenly— receive an unexpected inspiration, the same thing will happen again.