Father Steven Reilly, LC
podcast version here.
Jesus said to
his disciples: "Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master´s return
from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes
and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master
finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to
you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table,
and proceed to wait on them. And should he
come in the second or third watch and find them
prepared in this way, blessed are those servants."
Prayer: Lord, you watch my every action, know my
every thought, and guide my every path. I love and
trust in your will. Thank you for this time
of prayer. From it may I receive the spiritual energy
I need to keep my eyes firmly planted on
you today and to remain confident that you are
always at my side.
Petition: Lord, help me always to
be alert to the needs of others.
1. Watch and
Pray: Being blindsided is no fun. Those unexpected surprises
are particularly annoying when we feel someone should have
warned us. “Please make sure you tell me about this
next time” is a familiar refrain. When it comes
to the questions about the afterlife, if we are
blindsided we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
Christ has given us more than adequate warning. Neither
death nor his coming in glory to judge humanity
should catch us off guard. The key to preparedness lies
in his admonition to his disciples: “Watch and pray”
2. Master or Servant: Imagine Jesus’ joy in
welcoming one of his “good and faithful servants” into heaven.
He said that he will sit us down and
serve us dinner. That beautiful image reminds us that
the hard work of being faithful will not lack its
reward. More than anything, it points to Jesus’ gratitude:
the Master becomes the servant for his loyal disciples.
After all that the Lord has done for us, what
else would we rather do than to give Christ
the joy of our faithfulness?
3. The Long Haul: Jesus talks
about the master of the house possibly arriving at the
“second or third watch of the night.” Being faithful
isn’t a fling or a flash in the pan.
We know that there will be “ups and downs,” moments
of two steps forward and one back. Through it
all we are called to persevere. Going the distance
is not easy, but how beautiful it is! Pope John
Paul the II gave us an indelible example of
perseverance. When we heard that he had passed away, all
of us felt sadness until we considered the joy
of imagining the embrace between him and the Lord
he loved so much. May our own example bear witness
to our desire to persevere — to stick with
the commitment of fidelity until the Lord calls us
Conversation with Christ: Whether life is
long or short, Lord, I have to be ready for
whatever your providence brings. I want to persevere, but
so often my love is undermined by my fears and
frailty. Give me the strength I need.
I will review my life choices to make sure
that I am persevering in all that I have promised