OCTOBER 19. Ord Time B. Wk 29. Tue. Lk 12. 35-38
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready.’
This reading is part of a long dialogue where Jesus his is providing advice to his followers prior to going to Jerusalem where he told them he would have to suffer, die and rise again from the dead; - much of which, at this stage, they still did not understand.
One of the main messages he is giving them in these talks is the need to put their trust in God and not to worry about how their needs are to be met, or how they are to respond to difficult situations; - as an example:
“Think of the flowers; they never weave or spin, yet I assure you, not even Solomon in all his glory was robed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the flowers in the field which is there today, and thrown in the furnace tomorrow, how much more will he look after you, you men of little faith!”
And again; - “Sell your possessions and give alms! Get yourselves purses that do not wear out, treasure that will not fail you, in heaven where no thief can reach it and no moth destroy it, for where your treasure is there is your heart also!”
The new teaching made today is the need to be watchful; -“Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing steadfast in your faith and the knowledge your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kinds of suffering”.
The point within this scripture passage is Satan’s efforts to have us turn away from our quest of holiness involves a never-ending struggle, and we need to acknowledge this and respond appropriately. This means being vigilant and turning to Prayer, the Sacraments, and the practice of the virtues. If we relax our efforts in these areas the enemy will certainly make his presence felt in our life; - in a negative way!
Our own experience teaches us that living the Christian life is an ongoing struggle, largely because we become complacent and comfortable in our day to day lives and the sense of needing to stay alert; the need for to place our trust in God; - and not in ourselves; - can easily wane.
When this happens, we find our prayer life also deteriorates as we have become ‘comfortable’ and we lose the believe we need to stay alert; - because our adversary, the devil, no longer concerns us; - and we begin to trust in ourselves again!
And this is exactly what Jesus is warning us about in today’s gospel; - ‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast; - ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks!”
Gospel Acclamation Lk21:36
Be watchful, pray constantly,
that you may be worthy to stand before the Son of Man.
First reading Romans 5:12,15,17-21 ·
Divine grace, coming through Jesus Christ, came as an abundant free gift
Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned; but the gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man’s fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift. If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified. As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous. When law came, it was to multiply the opportunities of failing, but however great the number of sins committed, grace was even greater; and so, just as sin reigned wherever there was death, so grace will reign to bring eternal life thanks to the righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ our Lord.