Thursday, 21st Week in Ordinary Time
“Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”
If the day and hour of the coming of Christ are known only to God, then all of our life must be in constant preparation for that coming. If that is so, according to William Barclay, there are certain basic sins.
- To live without watchfulness invites disaster. Thieves do not send a message or notice saying when they are going to burgle a house. The main weapon in their wicked undertakings is surprise. Therefore, a householder who has valuables in the house must maintain a constant guard. But we must emphasize that the watching of the Christian for the coming of Christ is not that of shivering apprehension. It is the watching of eager expectation for the coming of glory and joy.
- The spirit which leads to disaster is the spirit which says “there is plenty of time.” It is the comfortable delusion of the servant that he will have plenty of time to put things aright before his master returns. James Matthew Barrie, the creator of the play Peter Pan, once said: “The most dangerous day in a man’s life is when he discovers the word ‘tomorrow’.” For on that day he learns procrastination.
- Rejection is based on failure in duty, and reward is based on fidelity. The servant who fulfills his duty faithfully is given a still greater place. And the servant who fails is severely dealt with. For us Christians, there is not better employment, there is not greater task than doing our duty faithfully and prudently until the Lord comes again.
The duty of the servant is described in the gospel parable as “distributing food” for his master’s household. It is our Christian responsibility to feed others –that is to nourish them in all kinds of ways –to provide food for the hungry, compassion for the afflicted, and sustenance from the words of Jesus to the famished in spirit. Let us do this duty faithfully and prudently.
Let us utter this simple prayer: “Lord, give us the wisdom to know what to do…the skill to know how to do it…and the virtue to do it.”