Gospel and Homily Notes by Archbishop Joseph Harris, C.S. Sp
Gospel: Luke 12:32&35-40 Jesus said to his disciples: “There is no need to be afraid little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the Kingdom. See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready. You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house. You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
For People who live in an “instant” culture, waiting has very negative connotations. Our generic western culture tells us that time is for production and for money. If we produce quickly, we amass more wealth. To wait too long is to squander opportunities for production and wealth.
The Gospel reading for today presents us with another understanding of “waiting” Waiting is not simply to prepare ourselves for death, it is also and very importantly waiting for the coming of the master, who comes to ask us to do simple or great but always necessary things for his people.
Waiting is therefore a time of great creativity, when we use our gifts and talents to make us ready for moments of great opportunity. I cannot help but think of the cricket world cup played here in 2007, and how many of our people were able to benefit financially from it, if they were able to plan and prepare themselves to receive the influx of visitors. Those who were creative certainly benefitted from that opportunity.
So Jesus tells his disciples “See that you are ready for action and have your lamps lit”
And those who have waited creatively and planned will most certainly do better than those who try to be instant entrepreneurs.
If this is true on the commercial level it is even more so on the level of our relationship with God and our vocation to build the kingdom.
At this present moment in T&T, we the believers are all afraid. Crimes of all types, tell us that the kingdom is not very apparent here with us. And in the midst of the murders, kidnappings, robberies and the expanding gap between rich and poor, the gospel tells us “Fear not” because the Kingdom will come, but it also tells us to be ready. Ready for what? Ready to take the opportunities which will present themselves for us to proclaim and build the kingdom.
The “getting ready” means learning to be attentive to the signs and opportunities for proclaiming and bringing the kingdom into being around us.
These opportunities are many. Occasions of injustice are not just moments to decry corrupt officials they are moments to create structures which bring justice to people.
The presence of HIV Aids patients, are occasions for us to make them feel respected and valued. Incidents of unemployment are opportunities to help the unemployed develop entrepreneurship. We cannot do these things however unless we are attentive to God’s call in the moments of need that surround us. And so we must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. The Call can come at any time!
The being ready is in fact the authentic tradition of our church. How many hospices and hospitals and schools were started because some person who was ready and waiting saw the need, heard the call and did something about it.
That is the story of Servol and the story of Care and other organizations like those. That is the story of creating recreational facilities for our youth; that is the story of so many community based organizations.
We thank God for the persons who give us the example of being attentive to God’s call to us to do something for his people, and we give thanks for the times that we have been ready and waiting
So today let us heed the call of the Gospel to be alert to the coming of the Spirit who inspires us to do simple or perhaps great things for the Lord.
All powerful and ever-loving God, the history of salvation is a history of your waiting for us and preparing us for your coming. Father teach us how to wait, but to wait attentively so that when you come we may recognize you and be prepared to listen to what You want of us.
We ask this through the intercession of your Son Jesus and Mary our Mother.