HOW ARE YOU PREPARING FOR JESUS’ RETURN?

How are you preparing for Jesus’ return? Today’s Gospel speaks of being prepared because we do not know at what hour Jesus will return. The Gospel explains the fidelity of the servants who wait for the master to return and who are always ready to open the door for him. They are assured of their generous reward from the Lord.

“Do not be afraid.” Jesus tells us not to be afraid and concerned about how we will be provided for in this life. We are to trust in God and to put our energy in serving one another and building up a community of peace and love for all. The Gospel reminds us that true security is not to be found in wealth but in the providence of God. Jesus tells us not to be afraid for it is the Father’s intention to give us a share of His kingdom, the Kingdom that God has already created for us. The desire of God now is to see that every one of us can find our way to that Kingdom. It is the same way that God led the Israelites to the heavenly homeland as described in the second reading. Today Jesus teaches us specifically how to get there. It is by loving one another, by sharing our temporal gifts with those who are in need. In doing so, we will have a treasure in heaven, which no one can take away from us. That treasure is Jesus Christ who is the treasure of love and the source of ever lasting life. Once we have Jesus in our hearts, we have it all.

Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” This reminds me of John, my co- worker. He set his heart to build a dream home for his retirement. Since he built the house mostly by himself, he had to work very hard at it for years and invested all his time, effort and resources; he devoted his mind and heart into this project that he did not have time for anything else, not his family nor church! Often, he showed his co-workers and me pictures of a truly beautiful paradise which was about to be completed. Just a week before his open house to show off his accomplishment, he was involved in a head-on collision, on his way to his dream home to prepare for his celebration! He died 3 days later at the age of 57. Unfortunately, John’s heart was fixed on the treasure of this World. He had been robbed by the thief in that Night and he was left empty handed!

None of us is perfect, we may get off track as a lost sheep, and we could get caught spiritually sleeping. Being Christians, we are not immune to the temptations and the trappings of the world. Some of us may have let this world get such a grip on them that they have no time to think of the much more precious world that is to come. Off course, we all have to take an interest in the affairs of this life, but we must never ignore the most important interest that is our eternal life. Our eternal salvation is too important to take it lightly, and it must always be the first priority in our lives. The teaching of Jesus today should encourage us to take a serious evaluation of our way of living. Jesus warns us that our call to judgment will come upon us like a thief in the night and at a moment when we least expect it. This may not be a sudden death like John, my co-worker. Many people with complicated illnesses are caught off guard and they eventually passed away while they are still young! We do not always know when we are going to die.

Jesus says, “More will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” In other words, we have to be accountable for our actions. The more gifts, talents, and wealth we receive, the more responsibilities we have. We all have the mission of proclaiming the kingdom of God to others. We are called to live a life of giving and sharing of what God has entrusted in our lives. We are called to live a productive life by participating and contributing to the joy and beauty over his creations; in which peace, justice and love are being realized among us. We are called to be faithful to his commandments and to be witnesses to His Kingdom. Jesus tells us that those who persevere in their living faith are blessed. Those who keep his commandments and do his will, they will be rewarded by Jesus who will serve them well; He will sit down and eat with them, and enjoy with them the heavenly banquet.

My brothers and sisters. We come together today to break bread and to have a taste of the heavenly banquet. May the Holy Spirit help us to be aware of our lives, which are surrounded by the passing things of this world. May the Holy Spirit help us to set our hearts firmly on Jesus where our true treasure is. And, just like the faithful servants in the Gospel, let us always be on watch and ready to open the door when Jesus returns.

Dcn. Theman Pham

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