Thursday, August 31, 2017

Gospel Words Today: Stay Awake!

How do you react when under attack? Are you surprised? Shocked? Angry? Or, are you prepared for whatever comes your way? Spiritual warfare is raging all around us. It comes in many forms . . . some surprising, some expected. In order to overcome attacks, we must remain vigilant as to what is from heaven and what is from the enemy. It's easy to fall into the trap of feeling the victim. But if we believe what we read in the Bible, what the messages from Jesus and all of heaven tell us in the Volumes, how can we react any other way but with love, humility, and trust that God has our back? He says it in today's Gospel (Matthew 24:42-51). Be prepared for anything and everything:

Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake! 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.”

In Anne a lay apostle's book Whispers From the Cross, she explains very clearly . . . if our eyes are diverted from Christ, we become an open door for the enemy's attack:

"Apostles, we must be more vigilant. If we have any ill feeling toward another, we must do battle with it in the presence of Jesus, who loves us all. If we do not do this hard work in our heads, the enemy will keep these feelings ‘on file’ and open them at a given time when we will then become a danger to the divine will through our bitterness. It must be said that it is shocking where the enemy can take us if we are not vigilant. It is as if we are at a train station and there are two trains. If we harbor ill will, envy, jealousy and anger, it is as if we are getting on the train that leads to darkness. We must think about this very carefully. The tracks only go in one direction and once this train leaves the station it becomes more and more difficult to get off. I think that if we were able to see where we were going by looking down the line of the railway tracks, we would immediately offer these things to the Lord for eradication and humble ourselves before Him. We do not want to resemble Cain and Abel. There is a train which goes in another direction and that leads to peace. When we covet the respect that another is given or the attention that is being paid to another then we are not reverencing what has been given to us. We then, if we get on the wrong train, will try to ‘look’ like them, stealing their identity, as it were and offering it to others falsely for the admiration we crave. This is not good modeling. To say we admire the virtues in another and strive to acquire these same virtues is wonderful. To look at the virtues of another and to admire the attention these others may get because they possess these virtues, and to then try to ‘steal’ the virtues by mimicking them but not practicing them, is diabolical in nature. We do not lovingly try to live the same goodness." 

Lay apostles, I am still surprised at times by unexpected attacks . . . even expected ones I prayed wouldn't occur. The beauty of being involved in this apostolate is I am prepared for the worst. It may be surprising, but not shocking. I know with every bone in my body Jesus has a plan for me . . . for every one of us. Sometimes that plan doesn't make sense to me, but it does to Him. I know I will understand completely the day I am face to Face with Our Savior. Until then, bring it on!

Thank you, Lord, for loving and protecting me from the enemy invading my life. I don't know how people survive without You!!

God bless,

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