Read: Ephesians 3:2-12, Isaiah 12, Luke 12:39-48

"If the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into.” (Luke 12:39)

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus speaks to us of the need to be prepared at all times for the day of reckoning. You do not start fixing doors and windows the moment you are told that armed robbers are standing at your gate. In the same way, you don’t wait till you are rushed to the hospital before you keep your surroundings clean. Honestly, you do not wait till you are close to the grave before you begin to live a holy life. (You are not promised tomorrow). The best time to begin is now.

Today is all you have. Don’t worry about tomorrow, just be the best version of yourself today. If God has put an idea in your mind, start working on it now. Do not live a mediocre life, let your light shine. Live every moment knowing that the next minute is not sure; anything can happen - God can decide to call you. No one is too young to answer this call.

Of all the available knowledge in the world, one thing no one knows is exactly when he or she is going to die. However, with advancements in medicine, some people are privileged to know. Imagine you were told exactly when you would depart this world, wouldn’t you prepare? In other words, would you allow your house to be broken into? Would you let the thief (the devil) steal your chance of eternal happiness in heaven?

Peter stood up to ask Jesus: “Lord, do you intend this parable for us or for the people?” And Jesus responded: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” That is to say, as much as every Christian must prepare for heaven, a greater responsibility is placed on those of us who preach the Gospel, those of us to whom God has entrusted the care of souls.

To put it simply, we preachers, men/women of God, church leaders, administrators, teachers, spiritual fathers and mothers, mentors, evangelists, prophets, etc., are going to face a more severe judgment because we knew the truth and refused to practice it. Jesus said something similar when he noted: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” (Mark 9:42)

It is not bad to aspire for the position of a leader in God’s house but bear in mind that if you are not what you represent, a hotter-than-normal part of hell awaits you. To whom much is given, much more would be expected. If you preach to others, you should be the first to practice it otherwise you end up being just a signpost. Jesus once said to the so-called religious leaders of his time: “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.” (Matthew 21:31).

It would be shameful if after preaching to you to live your best life today and be prepared for death (which can come at any time), I fail to prepare for my own death. The sad truth today is that a lot of us, preachers, know the bible but we do not know God. We are busy with the work of God but we don’t even create time to spend alone with God in prayer. We praise ourselves for delivering mind-boggling, life-changing homilies but we ourselves are not moved.

We hear the confessions of others but we seldom approach the confessional to confess our own sins. St. Paul had the humility to refer to himself as the “least of all the saints” in today’s first reading but the fact that not many of us have the humility of admitting our faults or accepting our sinfulness. 

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, make me more than just a signboard for your kingdom. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Wednesday of week 29 in Ordinary Time, Bible Study: Ephesians 3:2-12, Isaiah 12, Luke 12:39-48)

© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu