Keep Your Lamps Burning

Dear Friends,

Last week we heard about the rich farmer who had too much and this week Jesus is addressing those who worry about having too little (Luke 12: 32-48).  And one of the best ways to conquer covetousness and worry is to look for the Lord’s return.  When you are living for the kingdom it is more difficult for the world to ensnare you.  The gospel is a warning: when we stop looking for Christ our hearts get cold and we get worldly.

Jewish weddings were always at night and the groom’s servants would have to wait for their master to come home with his bride.  The new husband would not want to be kept waiting at the door with his bride.

The remarkable thing in this story is that the master serves the servants.  In Jewish weddings the bride and the groom were treated as queen and king so you would not expect the groom to do anything.  But our King is different and he will serve his faithful servants when he comes back again; he will reward us for our faithfulness.  This is also a reminder concerning Christian authority; it is always a service for and to others.  The position is not to puff me up, but for me to serve; the greater the position, the greater the service.  The Pope is called the Servant of the Servants of God.

To “watch” means to be alert, to be ready, and not to be caught by surprise.  That is the attitude we must have toward the second coming of Christ.  His coming will be unannounced and unexpected.  Don’t think that to watch is all that is required.  Jesus gives us another parable to encourage us to keep working when he comes.  Each one of us like the apostles has some particular “work” to do, in our family or parish or neighborhood.

The second reading tells us of the faith of Abraham, who was as good as dead, when God called him; he was seventy-five years old.   But even at his age he was not afraid and he trusted in the promise that God was making to him, even when he was tested to sacrifice his only son.  Abraham made many mistakes but he trusted in the promise God made to him, do we?

Abraham sensed that God’s call would be a great adventure. We see this over and over again in the Bible.  Just take a look at:  Jacob, his son, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, David, Mary and Joseph, St. Stephen, St. Paul.  They all think that they are not the right person for the task and their lives are turned upside down.  This is the mission of a Christian: to trust in the call of God, and to follow it.

So I invite you this week to take a risk with money or with your time or with asking forgiveness of someone.  In this way you can be like Abraham, our father in faith.

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