1 Corithians 1:1-9
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.
Jesus said to his disciples:
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,
whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
Good News Reflection: When Jesus comes for you
What will Jesus find you doing when he comes for you? This does not necessarily mean he will make his Second Coming appearance in your lifetime. But most certainly he will come for you in the moment you die. What will you be doing for the kingdom of God at the time of your death?
As Jesus says in today’s Gospel reading, we don’t know when that will happen. What if you have a brain aneurysm while enjoying a movie that glorifies violence, or shows sex outside the sacred union of a married man and woman, or other immoralities? What if you have a massive heart attack while swearing angrily at a motorist who cuts you off on the highway? Jesus comes for you and says — ?
Hey, it could happen! There is no guarantee that our death will come while we’re being nice to someone. Nor can we count on dying in bed peacefully while a priest gives us the Sacraments of Anointing and Holy Communion to send us on our way to heaven free from all sin.
Jesus tells us: “Stay awake! Don’t get sleepy and close your eyes to the needs around you! Pay attention! Look at what you could be doing!”
St. Paul points out in today’s first reading that God endows us abundantly with every gift and talent that we need, every bit of knowledge that we need, and all the strength and endurance that we need to remain blameless until Christ comes for us. How do we remain blameless? By choosing every day to live the reality of who we really are: As followers of Christ we are no longer sinners but are saints learning to be holier today than yesterday, and in this reality we continue the mission of Christ right up to the moment of death, even with our dying breaths!
The far-sighted servant that Jesus mentions is one who wastes no time in worthless activities that have no eternal value. We are faithful servants if we bless the kingdom of God through everything we do, even — and especially — in secular places. Everything we do can have eternal value if we pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and do everything for the glory of God.
Washing dishes can have eternal value. Taking a friend out to dinner certainly has eternal value. We work for God when we smile at a stranger or give a compliment. We can serve his kingdom in the way we drive and in the birthday cards we send. Every task in our jobs glorifies God if we do it well and honestly. How we spend our money can honor God. Each word we speak should bless and not curse.
We don’t have to be constantly active in ministry to be God’s faithful servant. But we do have to stay awake and alert to what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and for whom we’re doing it. Ultimately, everything we do should bless the kingdom of God.
We thank You, Lord, because You have entrusted to us great things! Grant us the grace of having an alert and persevering heart in expecting Your Word. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica