“Be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. (Luke 12:36)
Time is the most precious gift we have. Time is more precious than all the money in the world. It is not how much time one has but what is done with it that counts. In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus, using a parable illustrates the importance of being prepared for the day of final judgment; the day of reckoning; the day we shall breathe our last.
You know it can be very shocking when we hear someone has just died especially when we interacted with the person a few moments before that death occurred. The shock of such news grips us with cold fear. What makes death really frightening is the fact that it comes when it is least expected, it takes whoever it wants and it happens under any circumstance you can imagine.
Death can either lead us to despair or to wisdom and the choice is ours to make. One of the greatest lessons death has taught me is to AVOID PROCRASTINATION. Never leave until tomorrow that which you can do today. As Jesus teaches us in today’s Gospel passage, the fact that the master can arrive at any time (without notice) should teach us never to postpone a good deed. The only way we can fight death is to prepare for it.
How do we prepare for death? Jesus says, “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning.” (Luke 12:35). Girding one’s loins can be understood as a figure of speech indicating the need for us to “zip up”; that is, the need for us to live morally upright lives; the need for us to avoid sins of the flesh which always take us away from God, the need for us to dress properly (covering that which ought to be covered).
The second aspect of this preparation is keeping our lamps burning. Like the five wise virgins, we must do everything possible to keep our lamps lit. We must always walk in the light and avoid those things which we would rather prefer to do in secret. As Jesus tells us: “For everyone who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.” (John 3:20-21). In the Sermon of the Mount, Jesus said: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
When we gird our loins and we carry out good deeds, there is no reason for us to be afraid of death. When we have no skeletons in our cupboards, we can walk freely and raise our heads wherever we go because we have, as St. Paul would say, “fought the good fight” and “ran the race”. When we are able to conquer lust in our flesh and our lives become lights to the world, we become those servants ready for their Master. You only begin to live when you are no longer afraid of dying. This is because, by then, you would have discovered your true life.
Jesus says: “How blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake.” Jesus did not say, ‘how lucky are those servants.’ Preparing for death is not a question of luck. It is a matter of choice. Chose to prepare for your own death today. Avoid procrastination. Live as if today is all you have. Be the very best version of yourself right now. Never postpone a good deed.
As we protest against all that is evil in this country, let us not forget that it is better to die fighting for a good cause than to watch quietly in indifference while certain persons destroy our future. May the blood of those who have died plead for the good of our dear country and may we be found worthy of Paradise whenever death comes. Amen.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to live in purity of mind and actions and may my death not take me unawares. Amen.
Bible Study: Ephesians 2:12-22, Psalm 85:9-14 and Luke 12:35-38).