Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C

Readings: Wis 18:6-9; Heb 11:1-2,8-19; Lk 12:32-48

Three key words sum up the message of this Sunday readings: preparedness, faithfulness and Hopefulness. After last Sunday's teaching on how to relate to material possessions, this Sunday Jesus focuses our attention on the importance of vigilance and preparedness for his coming. Such preparedness requires being faithful and hopeful as disciples waiting for their master's return. Jesus uses an interesting story of servants waiting for the return of their master any time. The servants keep vigil, trusting like Abraham who kept the faith and trusted in the power of God. In the Gospel story, Jesus is the master, who tells us: "You too must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at a time you least expect." In today's society all that sounds like some kind of uncertain future. Yet, we are aware that preparedness is a fact of life. We carry a spare tire in preparation for a flat. We purchase insurance in the possibility of theft, accident, death or destruction. The list for our human preparedness is long. This Sunday Jesus challenges us regarding our spiritual preparedness.

Fidelity is difficult in today's society that prefers freedom over fidelity to the Gospel. Some might be afraid of being too committed. Jesus tells us not to be afraid of deepening our commitment to the Lord; of standing for the truth. The Gospel teaches us that our faith is treasure entrusted to us to be guarded. In the story, Jesus implies that we must not let a thief steal that treasure away from us. That is why Jesus underlines the importance of the present moment of waiting for his coming. The waiting is not a time we could take a vacation, away from God, as if we wanted a break from God. Rather, it is a time for creating a deeper relationship with God; continually walking on our journey of faith; and constantly being strengthened by the sacraments. That is why we come to Church on Sunday, not just to fulfill an obligation, but to be together with God's people journeying with Christ in the hope of His coming. This is what we celebrate at every Mass keeping alive Christ's memory, “as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The best way to prepare for the Lord’s coming is not by doing something great just on time, but by being faithful all the times. The question is, what will that moment be like? The readings help us to be prepared for that moment of truth, so that it will be a moment of fulfillment; a moment of complete trust and calm before our Lord and just Judge who will welcome us into the eternal banquet. Three points sum up the central message of this Sunday: 1) Just as we invest so much in preparing for uncertain futures, Jesus teaches us to invest on our spiritual preparation and to be ready at any moment when he comes. 2) The first reading gives us the example of Abraham who was totally committed to God by his faith and trust. 3) It is not easy to wait for a promised future, and that is why God gives us His grace to help us to hang on there vigilant, ready at all times to receive Christ when he returns. How well are you prepared should Christ come right now?

©2016 John S. Mbinda

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