Saturday, August 6, 2016

8-7-2016 -- 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Aug. 7, 2016 - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

A recent survey by LifeWay Research of people who haven’t attended church in the past six months found that 2 out of 3 of them are not particularly interested in religion.

And 3 out of 4 of those who consider themselves to be unchurched don’t care and are not interested in talking about God.

These findings suggest that an ever growing number of Americans, especially millennials, no longer claim to be religious.

A growing portion of our population appears to have no faith, does not believe in God or believes that organized religion is pointless and religious worship is meaningless.

I’m not sure how they would respond to Jesus’ admonition to be prepared. Why would you be prepared if you did not think the Son of Man would ever come for you?

So, I think this gospel is inviting us to reflect on what we believe and why.

Do we believe that Jesus, the Son of Man, the Son of God, will come for us just as he promised?

I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I am going to prepare a place for you, I will come back to you and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.

About that return, Jesus says: You must be prepared. With lighted lamp. Watching and waiting. Standing at the door or looking out the window. Vigilant. Ready to open.

You must be prepared. It will come when you least expect it. It will take you by surprise.

Let’s take a look at how Jesus calls us to prepare:

Watching and waiting indicates awareness, looking and seeing with spiritual eyes.

Standing at the door indicates alertness. Standing is a posture of alertness, watchful, ready, right there.

Have you ever had company come over and you stand by the door or by a window watching for their arrival?

With lighted lamps indicates preparedness. We prepare for hurricane season. Do we prepare for the coming of the Lord? Do we have the tools we need?

When preparing for the Lord’s coming, it’s spiritual tools that we need. The most important spiritual tool is the Eucharist, food for the journey, nourishment from Jesus himself to give us strength.

Ready to open indicates eagerness, hopefulness, anticipation, maybe even longing. Ask older religious folks who are ill and they will say, I’m longing for the day Jesus comes to take me home.

Let us not be like those folks in the recent survey who say that they don’t particularly care about God or religion or going to church.

Rather, let us continue to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Let us continue to await the salvation of the just. Let us continue to watch and wait, ready to open when the Lord comes and knocks.

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