– Tuesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time –
“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet … If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them [alert], blessed are those slaves.” (Luke 12:35-36, 38)
Today, in light of this reading, I find myself thinking of how short our lives are, and of death. For a Christian, this is not a morbid thought: we celebrate birth, human love, forgiveness, and death, as we know each life is unique, loved, precious. The sacramentality of our faith invites us to celebrate every moment of life: the ones we rejoice in and the ones of loss. But this reading, to my ears today, questions us: are you ready “if he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn”? Are you living all you could and are called to? Are there things you might have wished you had done, and said, which you have not, as yet? At the end of the day, and of our lives, we shall meet our Creator alone: in this, life and freedom are personal.
We can think of this in a personal way, in the terms our faith formation has often been framed: “how is my personal relationship with Christ?” Or we can also ask about our contribution to human history, to the planet, to the ones who are most in need: what mark will I leave in this world, on this earth, in my Church, after I leave? What will Jesus find in my hands and heart, when He comes to find me? How attentive am I to the signs of the times that invite us to respond and to act? God’s reign of love will become a reality: in this we trust. But I would like to be part of those Jesus recognises as his own collaborators, when I go to meet my Creator. We are often “served” by our incarnated God – in each Eucharist, in our communities – but it is hard to ignore the challenge at the heart of this reading: how awake are we to the needs of this world, and the signs of the times? Will God find us alert, and awake?
by Maeve Heaney