Jesus said to his disciples: "Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
"Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, 'My master is long delayed,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant's master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."
One of those Gospels to keep me on my toes? Certainly. Even though I wish I wouldn't need constant reminders, real experience shows that spiritual and moral life needs renewal all the time. Today Jesus gives us the big picture as a way of motivation and renewal: Remember where all this is going, live with one eye focused on the eternal things, stay attuned to the Holy Spirit who will grant you a supernatural lookout on things.
Such promptings can be extremely fruitful for us when drifting in self-centered or world-centered currents. Jesus steps into our lives and shakes us, gently but decisively. Remember your dreams, remember your heart's deepest desires, remember what I have done for you, He whispers. He never grows tired of doing that, as we frequently get “off-track.” This dis-traction can, on the long-term, be as hindering to our spiritual journey as the more “direct” sins, which is why the orientation of our heart in the everyday life can be a good point to examine in our conscience frequently.
But this Gospel isn't only about getting on your toes. What if you actually are? In that case, today is a day to indulge in passionate joy! For Jesus will come. Before long, He will stand in front of you. Looking at you. He will speak to you and all the veils of faith and doubt will be torn away. At long last, the one encounter that overshadows all the others; that encounter for which it's worth preparing during your whole life: will come!
Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come! I really can't wait to be with You. I truly want to prepare myself as well as I can. You have given us so many ways in the Church to encounter You while awaiting the ultimate encounter. Renew my faith in the Sacraments and in Your presence in Scripture and in my neighbors. Above all, Lord, grant me the grace of being a “faithful and prudent servant.”