Are You Ready?

View the readings for this Sunday.


Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

•Wis 18:6-9
•Ps 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22
•Heb 11:1-2, 8-19
•Lk 12:32-48

By Marc Massery

If Jesus appeared beside you right now and told you that your time was up, would you be ready to face Him?

In the Gospel reading this Sunday, Christ compares servants awaiting their master's arrival to our need to wait vigilantly for Him. If the Master catches us prepared and vigilant, we will be rewarded. On the other hand, if He finds us rebelling like the unprepared servants, we will face the consequences.

Jesus says, "Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come" (Lk 12:39-40).

Like the unprepared servants, we have the tendency to compartmentalize our faithfulness to the Master. On the one hand, we follow His will when we deem it important to do so. We go to Mass, perform works of mercy, and try to treat others with dignity and respect.

On the other hand, in our sinfulness, we take advantage of opportunities to rebel when we think no one is looking. There's a part of us that wants to pursue everything good, true, and beautiful. Then there's a part of us that finds the demands of the Gospel too difficult and the temptations of the evil one too alluring.

Just about all of us have a pet sin or two to which we turn when we want to escape from the stresses of life. For example, the servant in Jesus' parable got drunk. For some of us, it's drinking, taking drugs, over-eating, gambling, or indulging lusts. Often we are attracted to more subtle temptations, like popularity, success, or power. Whatever our temptation, when we consent to sinning, we do so not out of service to the Lord, but out of service to ourselves.

In her Diary, St. Faustina writes about her experience of temptation. She says,

Although the temptations are strong, a whole wave of doubts beats against my soul, and discouragement stands by, ready to enter into the act. The Lord, however, strengthens my will, against which all the attempts of the enemy are shattered as if against a rock. I see how many actual graces God grants me; these support me ceaselessly. I am very weak, and I attribute everything solely to the grace of God (1086).

All of us go through times when the temptation seems too powerful to overcome. Saint Faustina reminds us that when this happens, we need to realize our weakness and rely on the Lord's grace. He always provides enough grace for us to endure. The more we accept this grace into our lives, the more we will look forward in anticipation to the day He comes to take us home.

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