Two verses in the first two readings jump out at me. The first, “God is faithful,” (1 Cor. 1: 9) and the second, “His greatness is unsearchable (Ps. 145: 3). I take great comfort in both sentiments, especially as preparation for the harsh reality of today's Gospel.
I believe that God IS faithful, but sometimes I forget. I know that I am not always faithful to God, and I project my ways of behaving upon God. Thankfully, our ways are not God’s ways, and over and over again God repeats and demonstrates faithfulness to his children, no matter their behavior. God's faithfulness and love know no bounds.
As for “His greatness is unsearchable,” again, I need this reminder. I keep trying to put God and God's ways in a neat package that I can hold in all of its neatness. But the psalmist says, “Hold on. Don't bother. Just accept that God's greatness is beyond your understanding. Stop trying to figure it out and just enjoy it and be grateful for it.”
Then we come to the Gospel. It's one of those prickly ones – one of those in which Jesus is NOT discussing someone of whom I can smugly think, “Well, I would NEVER do that!” No, this instruction to stay awake is directed right at me – at all of us – and it is a reminder that life is short – be ready!
Just recently, two middle-aged people I know of, though we weren't close acquaintances, did pass away suddenly, unexpectedly and tragically. Both situations reminded all who learned of their passing that we don't know the hour and we must be prepared. We must not tell ourselves as the second servant does, “My master is long delayed,” and carry on as though we were not children of God. Jesus has warned us to be ready and we must not be foolish and ignore his advice. We must do what we can each day to follow him, and when we fail, remember that God is faithful and begin again.
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