October 22, 2014
Chris Duffy, S.J.

Strategic Planning
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 475

Ephesians 3:2-12
Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6
Luke 12:39-48

Praying Ordinary Time

This is the Memorial of
St. John Paul II

The servant who is ready and the one who is not: that seems to be the main focus of today’s Gospel.  The minor focus is related to what happens when one is ready and when one is not.

Ideally, we ought to be ready for God to stop by anytime of a particular day and take account of how we are living our lives in relationship to Him.  For most of us, we probably do an alright job, with plenty of room for improvement.  After all, we could improve by selling everything we have and go on a mission to a distant land and serve others, hopefully helping them enter into a deeper relationship with Our Lord.

For many of us, however, that kind of a heroic life may not actually be our calling.  But are there a few more things we could do to grow as Christians?  Why is it that in our own lives, with our day-to-day actions, we do not necessarily make a marked improvement in doing a little more?

Maybe it is because we feel we have plenty of time before Jesus asks us to share how well we have been His followers.  Maybe it is because we feel that doing more for our faith can be another burden of sorts in our already busy lives. 

I feel that Jesus is trying to help us with these “maybes” in the Gospel.  As far as the first “maybe”—that we have plenty of time before sharing with Jesus how we have lived our Christian lives—we are encouraged to think of that not in terms of the end of our lives; rather, we are encouraged to think about it every day.  Why? Jesus is with us every day—not just at the end.  He is not, however, walking around with a scorecard on how well we our being a Christian per se.  He is not holding a heavenly I-Pad and observing you, simultaneously checking off boxes with such titles as “Generous,” and, making a video of you for a future movie review with Saint Peter of how you have lived your life.  That would be some kind of I-Pad, though.

No, He’s not doing that.  And that leads to the second “maybe’—that if we do more to grow as a Christian, we may have more activities to do, more “burdens” in our lives.  When we are open the presence of Jesus in our lives, when we feel his care, support, strength, courage, wisdom, joy and love, we feel like sharing these gifts from Jesus with others.  This feeling of being loved and wanting to share it is true in our day-to-day relationships as well.  When we feel loved--by our parents, spouses, friends, or our children—we want to share that love with others.  And that sharing of love—it rarely feels like a burden, like an “extra” thing to do, does it?

These “extra” activities, these expressions of love, we can share these loving actions with the people in our daily lives.  We could listen a little more intently; make an extra call to say hello to someone who we know may be going through a hard time.  We could pray for a few people we have heard that are sick; we could give our loved ones an extra hug.  We could share our lives with Jesus a little bit more, converse with Him a little bit more, throughout the day.  We could share our faith with someone.

Could we do something in addition to these day-to-day caring gestures? Perhaps.  Maybe with this feeling of being loved by God and wanting to share this with others, we may feel excited about doing even more.  We can explore that calling with God in our prayer and in His communication with us through the people in our lives.

I invite you, and I will be doing this as well, to pray for the grace to feel God’s love, and then to share this wonderful feeling with those in your life in three ways this week.  In doing so, since Our Lord is “returning home” to us each day, each day we can become more and more prepared--more ready--to greet Him.

Ready or not (yet)?  We can get better at being ready.  We may even fill all the memory in that heavenly I-Pad sooner than Jesus thinks.

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