Thursday, 21st Week in Ordinary Time          

            “Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.”

            Jesus’ statement in today’s gospel reading has two senses. In the narrower sense, they refer to his Second Coming at the end of the world. In the wider sense, they refer to the time of our death. If we take Jesus’ words with respect to our own death, then they assume a note of urgency.

            Our own mortality should evoke in us a sense of urgency. When we have too much time on our hands, we tend to put off doing what is difficult. But if we know that we have only a limited measure of time left, we tend to work more energetically. Mortality is a great motivator to be good and to do good. After all, as J.S. Whale said, “Making sense of life means, ultimately and always, making sense of death.”

            Just imagine the difference it can make if we live with this “sense of urgency,” or, at least, with the thought that we do not have much time left. First, it can deepen our relationship with God. We will be more preoccupied with doing God’s will rather than with our own selfish ambitions. We will be striving harder to spend more time with God rather than ‘entertaining’ ourselves. Second, it can make us view our personal life in the right perspective. We will not allow ourselves be imprisoned and paralyzed by the guilt of the past and the worries of the future. We will not avoid challenges or resist changes; we will embrace them as opportunities for personal growth and maturity. Third, it can make us give due importance to our family and do the right things for our neighbor. Mas pipiliin na natin ang paglalaan ng panahon sa mga mahal natin, lalo na sa pamilya, kaysa pagpapayaman o pagpapakasikat. Mas pipiliin na natin ang pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng iba kaysa pagiging abala sa sariling interes lamang. Let us not waste these opportunities to show our love… for we do not know how long we are going to live.

            Yes, my dear friends, we must stand ready, we must be always prepared, “for you do not know on which day your Lord will come.” “For at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

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