A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (Lk 21:34-36)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that they catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Good News Reflection:
Introductory prayer: Lord my God, I come again to be with you. Open my heart more and more to your love.
Petition: Help me Lord, to be watchful and attentive so that I will be faithful in your service. Do not allow me to fall asleep out of laziness.
1. Beware.Christ knows how weak we are. We cannot ride the wave of a decision made long ago. Every day is new day, each moment is a new moment with its own possibilities and dangers. Christ forewarns his disciples to beware, and not become drowsy. The drowsy man can gently slide into a sound sleep, without ever having made a decision to sleep. The Christian can begin to leave Christ behind and follow other masters, without ever having decided explicitly on doing so. If we are not making a conscious effort to go forward, then we are in fact going backwards. If we are not constantly asking ourselves what more God is asking of me, then I will soon wind up doing just whatIwant. The plant that is not watered again and again will eventually dry up.
2. Unexpected Surprises.The last day will catch many by surprise. Why? Faith is the conviction of things not seen. We tend to be more impressed by the immediate and visible than the higher realities that require the exercise of faith. The apparent delay of Christ’s return will cause many to doubt in his words and regard his message as no longer relevant. We have the vague desire to be close to God and be good disciples, but what might seem to be a distant God makes us into procrastinators. We lose that holy sense of urgency. Yet, the reality will dawn upon us and will catch many unawares and unprepared. In following Christ, we must not allow the freshness to die, or the grind of our daily life to deaden our faith. Live each day as if it were our last.
3. Praying for Strength.Without prayer, it is impossible to be strong. The reason we fail in our resolutions, don’t follow through on our good intentions or seem to have such little strength is that we fail to pray earnestly for strength to fulfill God’s will. Prayer opens our eyes to the ultimate realities. Prayer gives us the courage to recognize what´s at stake and to live with our eyes fixed on the eternity that awaits us, and not only on the here and now.
Dialogue with Christ: Lord Jesus, I realize that without your help and grace, I cannot remain strong under trial and temptation. Be at my side to strengthen me and do not allow me to ever deny you.
Resolution: Live today, especially my prayer time, as if it were my last.
Fr. Marcial Maciel, LC