“Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:44)
Jesus says to us today: “Watch, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” To be watchful is to be alert in the spirit. It reminding oneself constantly that the end must surely come.
Just as a good security officer never goes to sleep while on duty, being watchful requires that we diligently guard our heart. The book of Proverbs chapter 4, verse 23 defines what spiritual watchfulness is all about when it says: “Guard your heart with all vigilance, for out of it proceeds the wellsprings of life.”
St. Peter puts it beautifully when he wrote: “Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary, the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith.” 1st Peter 5:8-9.
The best way to keep watch is to get busy. It is not a matter of staring at the ceiling all day, we must also be doing what God desires. Hence Jesus says: “Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes, will find SO DOING.” Before we begin any activity, let us ask ourselves “if the world were to end right now, will God be happy to meet me doing this?” or “If this was the last thing I did before my death, would it be worth it?”
Always remember the end; always remember that even the air you breathe is borrowed and you will have to relinquish it someday. Thinking of our death often helps us to be less materialistic, it also helps us to forgive easily. Reminding ourselves that we shall die helps us to take life lightly and refrain from complaining when we don’t seem to have all we need.
If anyone had told me I would be mourning a beloved staff of mine today, I would never have believed. When death comes for a young person, it leaves behind a devastating blow; one from which we can never recover. Dear friends, never forget the end.
Today, we remember St. Monica, the mother of St. Augustine. Her story, much like the story of the women who encountered Jesus in the Gospels teaches us perseverance in faith. For many years, it seemed as though her prayers for her son Augustine were in vain but eventually she had the privilege of seeing her son become a priest before her passing on to glory. She remains a model for Mothers.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me to be prepared always. Amen.
Bible Study: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, Psalm 146:2-7 and Matthew 24:42-51).