Daily Reflection on the Gospel of Tuesday, October 23, 2024

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Today, we must pay our individual attention to Jesus' words: «Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit, like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding. As soon as he comes and knocks, they will open to him» (Lk 12:36). What a joy to realize that, even though unworthy and sinner, it will up to me to open the door for the Lord, when He finally comes! Yes, at the hour of death, I will open the door to Heaven or I will close it; nobody will be doing it on my behalf. «We can be persuaded God will ask us to render accounts not only of our deeds and words, but also of how we have been spending our time» (St. Gregory of Nazianzus).

To be waiting wide-awake at my door for him to arrive is quite simple, and I can certainly do it. I must not be inattentive. To be inattentive is to forget the final purpose, to wish to go to Heaven, but with no operative will; it is like building castles in the air, without having worthy commitments supporting our yearning. To wear your apron means to be in the kitchen, duly prepared for whatever comes. My good father, who was a farmer, used to say that you couldn't sow if the earth was “angry”; for a good sowing you are to actually walk in the fields by caressing the seeds.

Christians are never lost castaways, for they know where they come from, where they are going and how to get there; they know their destination, the means to reach it and the difficulties to be found along the way. To bear all this in mind will help us to be watchful and open the door when our Lord will warn us. Exhortations to vigilance and responsibility are often repeated in Jesus' preachings for two clear reasons: because Jesus loves us and He “watches” over us; he, who loves, does not fall asleep. And, because the devil, our enemy, keeps on tempting us. Thinking of heaven and hell should not detract us from our duties down here, but it is a healthy and incarnated thought, and it deserves the Lord's congratulations: «Happy are those servants if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak!» (Lk 12:38). O Jesus, help me to be all my life watchful and vigilant and keep loving you.