August 7, 2022

Wisdom 18:6 – 9. Psalm: 33. Hebrew 11. 1 – 2, 8 – 19. Luke 12. 32 – 48
This Sunday’s liturgy draws our attention to the certainty and uncertainty of Christ’s
second coming. Yes! It is certain and uncertain. Certain, in the sense that, it is a reality
that has been affirmed by the Sacred Scriptures, “Heaven and earth shall pass away my
words will not pass away” (Mtt. 24:35). It is uncertain, in the sense of its unpredictability.
The scripture also affirms, “No one knows, not even the son of man,” (Mtt. 24:36).
However, since Christ’s second coming is a reality, we are left with no further choice or
option than to be ready, vigilant and prepared always. We ought to be ready and prepared
always to meet the Lord.
The first reading traces the Faith-oriented readiness and preparedness of the ancient
Hebrew slaves in Egypt at a moment of uncertainty and frustration that surrounded their
mass exodus to the promised Land. Their trusting faith in their God’s promises gave
them hope. We are told how their Faith and Hope resulted in their liberation.
The second reading bolsters our faith in God as the only antidote to the fears and
uncertainties surrounding Christ’s coming, by a holistic definition of faith, “Faith is the
guarantee of the things we hope for and the certainty of the things we do not see”(Heb
The Gospel reading begins with an antidote of anxiety, to put aside all fear, to trust in
God, and to spend all energy in serving others. Jesus is encouraging his followers that
they have no need to be filled with worry or anxiety about how they will be provided for.
The emphasis of the passage moves quickly from anxiety to watchfulness. Luke was
convinced that the end time and the second coming of Jesus could not be predicted. Still,
the disciple could not live a life as if all this did not exist.  Its two stories tell us to be
ready for the Lord’s coming into our lives.

How ready are we: The fundamental questions we ask ourselves always at any given
space and time are: “Am I ready and prepared to meet the Lord if rapture should take
place right away? Will I be found doing the right thing at any given time the Lord
comes?” Reacting to such spiritually introspective questions, St. Francis, Saint of Nature,
was hoeing his garden one day. A philosopher friend approached him and asked, “What
would you do if you learned you would die before the sun sets?” St. Francis reflected for
a moment and replied, “I would finish hoeing my garden. I would be faithful to what I am
doing now.”
However, the truth of the matter is that most of us believe in preparation for many
uncertainties, but not with the most important event of our lives. We often lock up our
door with sophisticated security gadgets and measures in case of thieves; we use our life
jackets in the event of a boat accident; While driving, we first fasten our belts as a
measure against accident; We carry a spare tire in our car as preparation for a flat; Airline
stewards provide pre-flight instruction in preparation for turbulent weather and we seek
education in preparation for a good job. Preparation in our society is a sign of wisdom.
But think about this. Of all the preparations that we make for the things I just mentioned,
not a single one is a certainty – yet we feel compelled to prepare ourselves for them.
We end up not preparing for the most important and certain reality that will befall man
someday – that is, Christ’s Second coming. So, those arrangements we would be
compelled to make if God gives us 10 minutes or one day to live should commence now;
call it reconciliation with our neighbours, going to confessions or making amends in
various aspects of our lives. Let the preparations begin now.
We should be vigilant and ready at all time: One most important lesson from the
readings of today’s liturgy is readiness to face the Lord at all time. Such readiness must
be facilitated by prayerful and active vigilance. Prayerfully, we need to create out
moments of communion with God. Actively, we should lead a life guided by morality;
and constantly going to the Sacraments and always being in the state of grace.

Faith is the surest antidote for fear: Another notable theme of reflection in today’s liturgy
is faith as an antidote for fear. Faith and Fear do not coexist in us. Whenever faith comes,
fear disappears and whenever fear comes faith disappears. As children of God, we ought
to have strong faith in God, even when the uncertainties of life try to break us; remember
to stand strong with your head high. Trusting in God, you will never be put to shame
(Dan. 3:40).
Finally, an old fable has it that, a man made an unusual agreement with Death. He told
the Grim Reaper that he would willingly accompany him when it came time to die, but
only on one condition that Death would send a messenger well in advance to warn him.
Weeks turned into months, and months into years. Then one bitter winter evening, as the
man sat thinking about all his possessions, Death suddenly entered the room and tapped
him on the shoulder. Startled, the man cried out, “You’re here so soon and without
warning! I thought we had an agreement.” Death replied, “I’ve more than kept my part.
I’ve sent you many messengers. Look in the mirror and you’ll see some of them.” As the
man complied, Death whispered, “Notice your hair! Once it was full and golden, now it is
thin and white. Look at the way you tilt your head to listen to me because you can’t hear
very well. Observe how close to the mirror you must stand to see yourself clearly. Yes,
I’ve sent many messengers through the years. I’m sorry you’re not ready, but the time has
come for you to leave.” Death made away with him unprepared.
The certainty and uncertainty of death should propel us to get ready and prepared always.
Happy Sunday.