August 30, 2018 (Thursday of Week 21, Year II)
Dear friends in Christ, in a time of trouble, many more people are at alert and very much ready to respond to situations. Jesus however calls on his disciples to be ready at all times. Spiritual awakening is not just about being in church or at prayer, it is living an authentic Christian life, since we will be called to reckoning when we least expect it.
Our first reading today (1Corinthians 1:1-9) is an introduction to this letter. Corinth in Greece was a big metropolitan city. Greece had an advanced culture and produced outstanding philosophers and intellectuals in every sphere of life. It was not an easy endeavour to introduce the faith in such an environment, where you needed to provide proof for almost everything. In the Acts of the Apostles we read about Paul's missionary journey to Athens which almost ended in a disappointment. Paul was taken to the council (Areopagus) and asked to defend his teaching. When he spoke of the resurrection of the dead, they laughed at him and said they will hear him again. He worked hard to plant the faith there. In this letter following a report of some disappointment in the community, Paul writes on the theme, 'Christ is the Power and Wisdom of God.' He also dealt with problems of divisions, lawsuits, immorality, marriage, worship and celibacy. Today's selection is an introduction in which he gives thanks to God for their faith, setting the tone that he writes, "to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ..." He reminds them of the faithfulness of God, and it is to this they have been called into the fellowship of Christ. This ideal, no matter how high, is the duty of every Christian.
The Gospel (Matthew 24:42-51) today serves as a call to be ready or stay awake, a theme which will run through the following parables. Today's parable selection stresses the need for watchfulness. Every Christian needs to be attentive to the opportunities and chances that the Lord presents. If the householder knows of the coming of a burglar, he would prepare to prevent it. The Servant who is placed over the household must do the job and not just busy himself dealing with other servants. Our watchfulness and readiness is not about sitting around and waiting for the arrival of the Lord, it is rather getting to work and doing what he has assigned to us. Those who fail in their duty will be punished but those who are faithful will be rewarded by the master. So, get to work, live out your Christian commitments, do not stay about idle.
Let us pray: Lord help us by your grace to be your faithful servants and to wait for your coming by committing ourselves to true Christian living. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.