Sunday, November 27, 2011
Watch, Jesus exhorts us. We are given a task to do until His return, and when we set out to do what we are called to do, remaining vigilant for His arrival, we will be ready for when He comes. In the mean time, though, we might take on some of the zeal of Isaiah in the first reading: Rend the heavens, make the mountains quake, and work powerfully in our lives. A secular world rushes toward Christmas, even if vaguely aware of its deeply religious roots, ignores the purpose of Advent which is not only to prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ who is incarnate for us, but more importantly to prepare for His return. So we keep watch, continuing to work diligently, and to beg for Him to act in our lives.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
The parable of the separation of the Goats and Sheep needs a careful reading. On the surface, many might think that the 'goats' are condemned because they would not serve, but the issue was that the would only serve the Lord ("When did we see you and not minister to your needs?"). The 'sheep' serve, being compassionate simply because it is the right thing to do. We cannot reduce what we do as a response to seeing the Lord, but more simply to do what is right and just. At times, we might avoid doing what is right and just simply because we don't 'feel' the Lord calling us to do it, but this is an error. We must know that in serving, we are serving the Lord, even if we don't see it.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
We have been given so much treasure, and we will be judged not one how much we have or how much we returned to the Lord, but rather on whether we tried or not. The first two responded to the master's gift by doing their best, and one is not judged as inferior to the other - both receive the same words of praise. But the third servant does not even try. He hides the money. Not only is it that he does not appreciate the money, he does not even appreciate the master. Note his words are thinly veiled insults.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
The parable of the virgins teach us to be prepared. The five wise ones looked ahead and prepared by bringing extra oil for their task, while the foolish ones were not prepared. Failure to plan is a plan to fail, as they say. It seems that the Lord can prepare us for our vocations, and the wise ones are those who ask the Lord to help them be prepared.