Growing up before the age of mobile phones meant that whenever a relative from out of town was coming to visit us, we knew the day and some general time, but not the exact time. No cell phone call to inform us that they will be there in an hour. Instead, we kept watch and every time a car seemed to slow down or stop in our neighborhood one of us would run to the front door to look out and see if it was our visitors.
As we near the end of the Church year we have readings that remind us that a day will come when Christ will come in Glory. Jesus does not give us the precise time, he only tells us to be ready. Followers of Jesus are called to always be prepared for his coming, or as some say; “live each day as though it were your last.” Jesus, himself, was asked about when the end of the world would take place and responded by telling his followers; “you do not know the day or the hour.” In the Gospel today we hear the Parable of the Talents, in this case it refers to money and how the servants invested it or did not. The lesson of the parable is for us to focus on preparing for the Second Coming by investing the Gifts that God has given us. We invest by claiming them, using them and growing in our comfort at making them a part of our lives.
All of this is to help us prepare to be ready for our “Masters” return whenever that day may be. The parable calls on us to wisely invest the gifts the Lord has blessed us with. We are intentionally go about using these gifts to build up the body of Christ the Lord will certainly be pleased with us. If we make little use of our gifts we face the great displeasure of the Lord. We are blessed with various gifts so that each of us can be part of building up the church. Saint Paul speaks of this eloquently in chapters 12, 13 and 14 of his First Letter to the Corinthians. It might be a good time of year to take out a New Testament and read through these chapters asking God to inspire us on how to better identify our gifts and to make more use of them. After this you can reflect on the questions in the next paragraph.
It seems that whenever someone speaks of the Lord’s coming people become concerned on when it will happen. The life of a Christian is not meant to be one that wastes time speculating about when the end will come, but rather to live each day in preparing for the end whenever it may be. Here are some questions to reflect on. How am I living my life? If Jesus were to come to me today, is my house in order? Have I made the most of the talents/gifts God has Blessed me with? Have I grown closer to the Lord? Am I a better Catholic today, then I was a year ago? Have I succeeded in diminishing some faults and sins during this past year? Have I improved my life of prayer? Am I more aware of opportunities to serve? Am I better at loving my neighbor as myself? We have the choice of sitting around twiddling our thumbs and wondering about Christ’s second coming, or we can get to work on our continuing conversion and be ready for whenever Christ may return.
Father Killian Loch, O.S.B.