August 31, 2017
by Michael Kavan
Creighton University's School of Medicine
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 428

1 Thessalonians 3:7-13
Psalm 90:3-5a, 12-13, 14 and 17
Matthew 24:42-51

Praying Ordinary Time


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“Stay awake!” Matthew’s gospel starts with a rather strong warning. Jesus is telling his disciples to stay awake and to be on guard, but does he really understand how hard this is?  We are a tired society with most of us not getting enough sleep anyway, and now we are being asked to stay awake! Thankfully, we can put away the large doses of caffeine and other stimulants and tune into Jesus’ real message – one that focuses on the importance of not staying awake, literally, but instead, staying on guard in order to ready ourselves for the coming of the Son of Man.

Yes, it’s true, we really do not know when the Son of Man will come, and because of this we should do whatever we can to prepare ourselves for this. I get it that none of us wants to die today or even soon, and even thinking about it can cause some anxiety for people. However, it begs the question – “If I were to die today, would I be leaving earth on terms I am comfortable with and am I ready to meet face to face with God?” Am I comfortable with what I have accomplished to date or would I ask Him for a chance to return for a “just a bit,” to tie up loose ends  or maybe longer in order to be the person I always wanted and knew I could become. “God, could you send me back to earth since I’ve been wanting to say ‘I love you’ to my wife and kids, or ‘I’m sorry’” to someone I have hurt.” Or maybe I need more time to be a nicer boss or to give an extra hour or dollar to a cause meaningful to me – after all, I have been meaning to do those things for, well, a long time…. Being born in God’s grace causes me to believe that despite my many shortcomings that I have the potential to be and do a lot of good. Matthew’s reading allows me the opportunity to reflect on whether I am living in God’s grace to its fullest or am I falling short and, in essence, allowing the thief to rob my home or for me to be the unfaithful  servant.

After reading todays’ Gospel, I hope that you and I can use this opportunity to ask ourselves whether we are ready… or if we need more time to do those things we know we need to do before the Son of Man comes. And if granted that time - what are we waiting for?

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