19th Sunday of Ordinary Time C
Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have the servants recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants. 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.”
- The Jews dress with their flowing garments and in order to carry out a task, they have to hitch up their clothes so as to be ready for work, for effort, for a journey etc (cf. Jer 1:17; Eph 6:14; 1 Pet 1:13). Similarly, “having your lamps burning” indicates an attitude a person should have who is on guard or is waiting for someone’s arrival.
2. Our Lord reminds us of the importance of being vigilant and watchful since on the one hand, our enemy never rests and is always on the prowl (cf. 1 Pet 5:8);
- on the other hand, vigilance, readiness and wakefulness are characteristics of a person who is in love (cf. Songs 5:2) and who awaits for the arrival of her beloved as we read in the 1st reading which describes how Israel hoped and waited for their liberation from slavery, “the salvation of the just and the destruction of their foes” (Wis 18:6–9 ).
- Our life on earth is a journey and at the same time, an expectancy, an awaiting, not only when the time comes when God will call us but also for the fulfillment of the promises and the definitive triumph of Our Lord Jesus Christ as King of the Universe.
- During this waiting period, we, his followers, must remain active living the virtue of faith and hope, manifested in works of love. Faith and hope lead us to love God, give meaning to our life, illuminating our journey towards the definitive union with God our Father and the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ where justice, holiness, peace, good and truth will prevail once and for all and will have the last word. But while we are in this world, we must be watchful.
- One concrete way of being watchful is to make sure that we are always in the state of grace. If by chance we have gravely offended God, let us not delay in asking His pardon: let us go to Confession as soon as possible to regain God’s mercy, pardon, friendship and sweet presence in our soul.
19th Sunday of Ordinary Time C
Mass prayers and readings.
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