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Be prepared at all times

Be prepared at all times

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

DANILO VALLEJOS MUTIA

Piarist

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.

Travelling light

Travelling light

After giving them authority and power, Jesus sent his apostles for missionary activities with specific instructions to take nothing for their journey except a walking stick. With no material goods, the apostles had nothing to offer except spiritual gifts. As a result, they were saved from the trouble of attracting people for the wrong reasons. They needed other people’s kindness and hospitality to survive, which is a sign of weakness in our world’s standard where wealth and prestige are sought after by many. But it is this weakness that stopped them from getting proud and not relying on what they possess. This weakness led them to grow in their trust in God’s providence and experience it. To trust in God and not in worldly possessions is essential for the success of their mission. To realize that the authority and power that Jesus gave them to exercise and speak in his name are connected with humility, love, and self-sacrifice for the service of others. 

 Although the apostles lacked material goods, Jesus made sure that they were in good company by sending them in pairs to have rewarding experiences supporting each other. After all, two is better than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). And we know that Jesus was always with them as he promised that he will be with those two or three who are gathered in his name (Matthew 18:20).

Jesus also made the apostles aware that in their mission, they would experience both acceptance and rejection. He prepared them by teaching them how to deal with rejections. He experienced rejection, such as, he was rejected in his hometown. But this didn’t stop him from continuing his mission. He moved on to other villages. The apostles were also expected to do the same. They were not to blame themselves. They were not to dwell on this painful experience. They were not to waste their time with anger, discouragement, and self-pity. They were to move on. The experience of rejection should not hinder the fulfillment of the mission that Jesus entrusted them. They cannot control how people receive their message. They only have control over the manner they deliver their message. Following the teachings of Jesus, the apostles were successful in their mission, as narrated at the end of the Gospel passage.

Fr. Danilo Vallejos Mutia Sch. P.

Sunday, July 11, 2021 | 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 6:7-13: He sent them out.

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick— no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

DANILO VALLEJOS MUTIA

DANILO VALLEJOS MUTIA

Piarist

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.