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Thursday, 04 August 2022 10:30

Being prepared, remaining faithful

Jesus said to the disciples:
‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like those waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready. You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’ (Luke 12:35-39)

Reflection - Being prepared, remaining faithful

Sometimes in life we find ourselves captivated by a particular cause or project and devote great enthusiasm and passion to it. As time goes on, however, we can find that our enthusiasm fades and our passion cools. Other things begin to take priority.

Like last week’s Gospel, being prepared and remaining faithful is the focus of this week’s Gospel passage. Storing up treasure in the sight of God is good preparation. Hoarding your possessions into ever bigger barns is not.

To stand ready is to be open to the Lord’s coming. Being dressed for action with lamps lit and ready to open the door to him, is the antidote to focussing too much on material possessions, status and power.

The faithful servants who are ready when the master returns are remarkably blessed by the master who will, himself, sit them down and wait on them. A classic reversal of traditional roles.

Luke’s community (and other early Christians) were slowly growing used to the idea that the second coming of Jesus, which they had felt would happen ‘any day now’, seemed to be delayed. Problems were emerging in the community as officials and others seemed to be ‘going off the boil’. Hence, the words about ‘standing ready’, ‘busy at his employment’, ‘having lamps lit’ and being ‘dressed for action’.

The parable about the servants is a call to remain faithful and in a state of readiness for the master’s return.

The parable begs the question, ‘How are the disciples to behave between the two comings of Jesus?’ Like homeowners, we need to be alert and on the lookout for the presence of Jesus.

While the text is about the final return of Jesus, we can also think about being alert and watchful for the moments when the presence of Jesus suddenly breaks into our lives - in a sick friend, a beggar on the street, a person in need, a moment of prayer or reflection.

As believers we want to do everything we can to build up the community, the living Body of Christ in our world, and allow the Gospel to transform our lives – which is seen in our closeness to God and in good actions which serve others.

Download & read our Celebrating At Home prayers, reading and reflection for this Sunday:

pdf Celebrating At Home 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time [PDF] (2.98 MB)
default Celebrating At Home 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time [ePub] (2.41 MB)