Father Steven Reilly, LC
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."
Introductory 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
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” (Matthew 26:41).
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
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.
Resolution: I will review my life choices to make
sure that I am persevering in all that I have