Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Gift of Readiness

This weekend my grandson Colton will be baptized. Family begins arriving today, and that means cleaning frenzy here at home. I have never enjoyed sleeping in dirty sheets when I travel (as much as I appreciate a bed to lay my head), so my goal is to have my house completely clean when guests arrive. When they walk through my door, everything is ready to go . . . the mess which develops after that is clean as we go!

Preparing for company resembles preparing for the coming of Jesus. Make sure you do the work beforehand. You don't want to get caught with dirty sheets!

Todays Gospel (Luke 12:39-48) is a reminder to live this day and every day as if it were your last:

Jesus said to his disciples: "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, he will put him 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."

In Anne a lay apostle's book Serving in Clarity, she points out He can come for us at any time, so be prepared:

"Our Beloved One was 'obedient even unto death' (Phil. 2:8). How palatable could the plan that was the Passion have seemed to the Eternal Victim? How sensible could it have appeared to His mother? Or His followers? Should Peter have persisted and cut down the soldiers who came to arrest Jesus? Should he have disobeyed, using his better judgment? Jesus said 'No,' and Peter stood down. The plan, the divine plan, unfolded in all its apparent senselessness. God’s plan was unfathomable to His apostles. This act of total sacrifice denied human rationale. Yes, on that day it is abundantly clear that God’s plan mystified His followers. We must accept that, like the early apostles, on any given day God’s plan will mystify us. We are, after all, no better than our predecessors. Our call to obedience is often a call to the heroic in terms of humility and faith. To be clear, I am not advocating mindless servility. I am advocating fidelity to the decision we have all made to serve Jesus Christ, according to His plan, in His Church. Obedience is liberating in many ways. First of all, it frees our mind. We do not have to wonder what to do in most given situations. If we cooperate with the authority in our life, Jesus can move us to holiness with great speed. If we do not cooperate, we do not allow Jesus to direct, and He will have to go slowly with us, in order to protect us. His goals will be jeopardized."

Lay apostles, what kind of spiritual cleaning do you need to do today? Trust He is in control of all that is happening in your life, good or bad? Make amends with a loved one? Make daily prayer a habit? Whatever it is, start it now. Even the smallest effort is rewarded with graces. Be prepared . . . you could meet Him face to Face at any moment.

God bless,

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