The Gospel according to Luke (12:35-38)
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 them 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.”
Opening Prayer: Jesus, I thank You that You have called me to share in Your ministry in the world. Please help me to stay alert and to work always for Your good and the good of all whom You love! Amen.
This part of Luke’s Gospel begins to look toward the end times, as Jesus teaches His disciples about the importance of staying ready. We will see this same notion explored in much of Jesus’ teachings in these coming weeks as we near the end of the liturgical year next month. It’s easy to think of those who know something is to happen needing to be ready (first responders, fire fighters, etc.), but that same rule applies to all of us who are followers of Jesus.
It’s like when you are new on the job, your supervisor or manager watches you closely, because you are still learning and he or she is ultimately responsible for whatever it is that you are doing. So, the manager is really looking out for his or her own interests, too! As time goes along, and you demonstrate that you are able to do the job and are proficient, the manager watches less and less. He or she trusts that you are doing the work that you were hired to do and you don’t need someone watching every minute.
Being in that space (where you are trusted) is a wonderful thing. It gives you the freedom to carry out your work without worrying about being watched, and you have some autonomy as well. But, it does not mean that you no longer need to work, since the boss isn’t watching, right? Of course not. You are still responsible for the work, so you work, even though the boss is not right over your head.
For Jesus’ followers, they had to learn to do the work on their own. Jesus knew that His time with them was limited. Very soon, he would have to complete His work on earth, and return to His Father. At that point, His disciples would have to carry on. When the Gospels were written, it may have been thought that the Lord would return quite soon – within their lifetimes. That lends all the more gravity to the direction to stay alert.
Now that we are some many hundreds of years later, it’s all the more important that we keep at our work as followers of Jesus. Jesus will return. He promised that. But, the time is only known by God Himself. It may come anytime, like today. Or, it may be some undetermined time in the future. We are the trusted servants of the Lord, who He has left to do His work on earth. Let us keep at that work and know that whenever He comes again, He will find us acting with His love and being His hands, His feet, His heart in the world.
Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to be Your hands and feet and voice in my world today.. May I do all I can to bring Your love to the world by my words and my actions! Amen.
Action for the Day: Is there someone who you know needs your prayers today? Take some time today and consider who that person may be and offer that person’s intentions sincerely from your heart!