Death of someone we know and dear to us, especially those within our age group like a classmate and friend, pushes us to reflect about our life and how to prepare ourselves for our own death as we don’t know the exact moment of its coming. I remember that a few years ago, a group of men in their late 40’s gathered together at school to celebrate their 30th high school graduation anniversary. As they toured around, they were laughing and happily remembering their experiences at school. After their campus tour, they gathered in the school chapel, spent a quiet moment and prayed for their classmates who passed away whose photos they put near the altar. I believe that the death of someone humbles us and helps us remember that we are not the master of our life. That no matter how hard we try, no one can be sure about the time and circumstances of our own death. Therefore, we need to reflect regularly on how we lead our lives based on our relationship with God and with each other.
In the Gospel passage today, Jesus sends us a strong message to be prepared at all times because the Son of Man will come at an hour we do not expect. He narrates what awaits those who are found ready for his coming. He promises blessedness for those who wait for his return with proper dress and burning lamps. This is an image of a person who is always ready for action. Jesus wants us to be prepared so that when the time comes we can be part of the event of his return where he will serve his servants who he found waiting for him. He came to serve in his first coming and he will do the same at his second coming. In this way, Jesus gives us a model that those entrusted with power to lead are also given the responsibility to serve. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.
One of the ways to be prepared is to reflect on the words of Jesus: For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. Many of us can claim that we look forward to heaven but in reality our hearts are not in it. Greed for power and material wealth choke our hearts. May the Gospel passage today inspires us to prepare ourselves by making sure we treasure things that have eternal and heavenly value and by remaining faithful to the commandments of the Lord.
Fr. Danilo Vallejos Mutia Sch. P.
Sunday, 07 August 2022 | 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 12, 32-48: Be ready
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
“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. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, the master will put the servant in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
DANILO VALLEJOS MUTIA
Is a Filipino Piarist and a missionary in Japan. He serves as a campus minister of St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo. At present, he is a provincial assistant of Asia Pacific Province.