October 23, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time 

Luke 12:39-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.”

Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied,
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, he will put him
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Reflection (Sem. John Paul Adia):

            When I was reading this Gospel, I thought about death. Why do people fear death? It is given that the only way to heaven is through death – but of course upon the will of God. Why is it that we connect death to sufferings and not with salvation? We do not like to experience pain that is why we do not want to experience death as early as now. But the reading somehow invites me to be ready for the coming of God. And when will I meet God? On the day that I am already dead.

            I had this experience with one of my retreats with the Neo Catechumenal Way. Everything was so holy. We were singing, praising and talking about God and His Words that we received for that day. The group was a mixture of young, teenage and older people. On the last day of our retreat, while we were celebrating the Holy Eucharist, there was a sudden earthquake that was quite intense. Everybody was so fearful since the location of the building was at the side of the mountain in Calaca, Batangas. They even thought about the worst catastrophe. With that kind of reaction, I asked myself: why are they fearful? Aren’t we under the guidance of God? Or even, aren’t they feeling this kind of privilege dying while praising God through the Eucharist. I told them, “It is okay to die now since I am with God.” But the reaction was opposing that even added to my questions. In that point in time, weren’t they ready enough to face God? I am not saying that I am a saintly person but death will really come – it may be the most painful or the most sudden.  This is an invitation for me to develop my faith in God. I am not preparing because I fear death but I am excited to see Him. Will I have the chance to see Him face to face if I am in hell?

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