A Daily Gospel Reflection by Dn. Paul Machuca for August 31st, 2023

The Gospel according to Matthew (24:42-51)

Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

Reflection: When I was 7 or 8, I remember being in a local church hall watching the 1953 classic War of the Worlds. The hall was dark except for the light from the movie. As the movie became more intense, I began to worry about the possibility that an alien species could wipe out all of humanity including my little corner of the world in East L.A. Fast forward to a month ago, I spent a few days in the hospital with a heart issue. There were a few times when I grappled with my mortality and wondered if death was a possibility. It seems that any consideration of having the master return is a bit frightening for anyone, even the most faithful.

In todays’ gospel Jesus seems to be warning us that we should be ready for his return. When He comes in glory to sort the wheat from the weeds. More than likely, we will not be here for that moment. We will meet the “master of the house” when our time here on earth is over. And will we be more like the faithful and prudent servant or the wicked one. Are we prepared to deal with a thief that can come at any hour? The answer, of course, is we will never be as ready as we think we should or could be. But here is the good news, our salvation does not depend on how ready we are, it is because of Jesus that we can trust the mercy of the Father.

The truth is that we all waver in between being ready and totally distracted from the moment the master comes for us. In our finest hour we eventually succumb to the temptation of sin. Yet in this condition God sent His only Son to eradicate sin and death. He made it possible to have hope that even as fallen souls we could have the opportunity to spend all of eternity with the one who loves us so much He sent His Son to bridge the gap. Of course, this does not mean that we should not concern ourselves with following the narrow way. We are called, by virtue of the gift of our existence to pursue the life of a believer and follower of Jesus. But despite our efforts we should be grateful that we are worthy of a love so great that cooperation and participation will gain us a place at the table of plenty. May we never take His mercy and kindness for granted and may the grace we receive every day make a difference in our lives and all we are blessed to have around us.

Action of the day: Today in prayer thank God for his mercy and forgiveness. Also focus on how today can be different that yesterday. What needs more attention. What can we do so that the master is pleased and allows us a greater share in tending to His vineyard.

Audio Reflection:

Leave a Reply