PASTOR'S STATEMENT FOR SAFETY PROTOCOLS/DECLARACION DEL PARROCO SOBRE PROTOCOLO DE SEGURIDAD...
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19TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

The inner disposition of a disciple is of prime importance in today’s liturgy. That’s why Luke puts together various images and parables about what it means to be prepared for the unexpected and surprising arrival of our Lord. In the end, Jesus commended the prudent and faithful servants for a job well done, “Blessed are those servants whom the Master finds vigilant on his arrival.” 

Girded loins, an outer garment tucked in waist signal readiness for service, work and travel while burning lamps help people stay awake and light the way for the master’s return at an unknown hour in the middle of the night. The parable of the watchful servant presents a vivid scenario of the coming of the Lord in a sudden and unexpected way like a thief in the night. Arriving without prior notice especially if it’s God  can definitely cause alarm and anxiety. It can be scary in the sense that we don’t know what’s in store. We have no clue as to what unfolds afterwards. We have no idea about this impending return. We can make guesses but it doesn’t go any further. You begin to figure out what to do. To calculate his arrival will go nowhere. Not only that, if we don’t meet the standards and expectations, we will be held accountable.

“Gird up your loins and light your lamps and be like stewards waiting for their master’s return from a wedding” says the Lord. Waiting for something or for someone is a litmus test of your patience. We always have that friend or family member who’s late at everything. Conside this, you agree with a friend to meet at a certain place and time. You arrive sooner than usual and texted your friend, no rush, take your time, got out of work early. 15min passed, you try to convince yourself, something must have happened. At the 30min mark, you start to worry. Not even a call, a text or a shadow of your friend showed up. You send a quick message, hope you’re on the way. I’m 10 min away (replied your friend) but actually, still at home unprepared and will probably take another hour. By the time, your friend arrives, he/she’s mad as hell blaming everyone about anything except her. None of us can stay awake all the time but we can ready ourselves in so many ways. Wake up Catholics! Buckle up! Dress for action! Rise to the occasion! Maximize your time! Make good use of your resources. Be ready to devoid yourselves of earthly belongings and give alms and focus instead on the spiritual treasures and the heavenly riches.

I figure there’s nothing to be afraid and feared about because although the Lord’s return is highly unpredictable and delayed, he has graciously promised us to come in surprising and disruptive ways to teach, to govern and to sanctify our lives and will actually throw a huge party (details unknown) for us good, prudent and faithful servants entrusted with much responsibilities. Blessed are those servants whom the Master finds vigilant on his arrival to be accompanied later by a meal. Table fellowship is a sign of God’s arrival. In fact, the Master will take the place of the doubly blessed servants and will wait at table. This is lovely because it gives assurance and lasting impact to us ministers, in particular and to anyone often beset with anxiety and fear of the unknown, worried about our current status with God  and overly concerned about what the future holds. For the time being, we will refuse to live again in the shadows of our sinful and stubborn past and move on with absolute trust that whatever we do at the present affects the future. What a tremendous relief! What we have heard is actually not a cause for panic then but another blessed and golden opportunity that makes God’s presence felt to carefree and fretting individuals.

Let me end by this lovely and amazing text, “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” Faith is a willingness to be open to the promptings of the Lord, to the Master’s will even under intense pressure of the unknown exemplified by Abraham leaving his place not knowing where we was going. Amen. 

Tags: HOMILY 19TH SUNDAY

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