SATURDAY OF THE THIRTY-FOURTH, OR LAST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME DECEMBER 1, 2018
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Lk 21:34-36
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
No one is exempt from God’s justice, for we will all “stand before the Son of Man.” I have just spent the month of November, prayerfully remembering the dead and refreshing my memories of departed loved ones. It brings my life into the proper perspective and gives me a jolt to stop and contemplate my own mortality.
Jesus has given us a warning to how we are to always stay prepared and to guard our hearts against sin. There are ways our hearts become drowsy.
Feeling envious or lustful? Just think, that person we are jealous of has been given gifts they need to become holy, which is different from what we need to grow in holiness. God blesses us in ways that are perfect for us individually. If we want something another has, it may actually be harmful to our souls.
Feeling selfish, greedy, proud or anxious? God can’t work where we have taken control. Giving it all to God will strengthen our trust in God to protect us from imminent tribulations.
Feeling gluttonous, lazy or slothful? Remember, Jesus says be vigilant and to pray for strength. No one likes being caught by surprise and having regrets. Spend your time worshiping God with a servant’s heart. It is very pleasing to God to watch his children work their station in life.
As we begin the season of Advent tomorrow, Jesus gives us a warning to always be ready for the day we will be faced with God’s tribulations. His admonition reminds me to focus living my life for eternity and to not be anxious about what tomorrow will bring, trusting in the power of God.