The central theme of today’s readings is the necessity for trusting Faith in God’s promises and vigilant preparedness among Christ’s followers to meet their God as their Judge and Rewarder, at the time of their death. Fidelity in doing God’s will is the best preparation for our death.
Scripture lessons summarized: The first reading cites the Faith-filled preparedness of the ancient Hebrew slaves in Egypt before their mass exodus to the Promised Land. Their trusting Faith in their God’s promises gave them hope. We are told how their Faith and Hope resulted in their liberation. With expectant Hope, the Hebrews sacrificed the first Passover lamb and ate the first ritual meal, as prescribed by their God through Moses. They awaited their imminent release and were prepared for it. Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 33) invites us to express our own confidence in God and to declare our trust in His Providence. In the Second Reading, taken from the last chapter of the letter to the Hebrews, the author defines Faith as “the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). He tries to bolster the Faith of the Jewish Christians (the Hebrews), by appealing to the example of their ancestors, starting with Abraham, and reviewing the things they accomplished by Faith.
In the Gospel, Jesus challenges his disciples to trust the Father’s promise to give them eternal happiness in His kingdom. But they are to be prepared at all times, because the Son of Man will come at an unexpected hour, either at the moment of their death or at the end of the world, whichever is comes first. Using the master-thief parable, Jesus warns us to be on our guard so that the thief (the devil), may not steal our treasure of Divine grace or our relationship with God by his temptations. Using the master-servant parable, Jesus reminds us always to do the will of God by obeying Jesus’ commandment of love and offering humble and sacrificial service to others.
We always need to be prepared to meet Our Lord as our judge:
1. Let us always remember the words of the Book of Revelation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him and he with me” (3:20). Since nobody is sure about the time and circumstances of his or her death, we must be ever prepared to face Jesus our Lord and Savior as our Judge at the moment of our death to give an account of our lives. He wants to see that we have kept our personal relationship with him by growing in holiness.
2. Such a growth is assisted by daily talking to him and listening to him in Bible reading; by asking for the guidance of the Holy Spirit every day; by recharging our spiritual batteries through offering our lives on the altar and getting spiritual nourishment in Holy Communion during the Holy Mass; by getting reconciled with God every day, asking for His pardon and forgiveness with a repentant heart, and seeking His forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation for serious sins; and by obeying Jesus’ commandment of love by serving all the people around us, sacrificially sharing our blessings with them, seeing the face of Jesus in everyone.