Stay Awake!

August 31, 2017 – Thursday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time

Stay awake! For you do not know when the Son of Man will come. Alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (24:42-51)

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.”

 

Reflect: You must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. Jesus uses two simple but powerful words in this gospel passage: “Stay awake!” In essence, he is making it clear that we cannot fall asleep in keeping vigilant for the Master. Maybe our focus is on the end times or the hour of our death. Jesus’ message tells us that it really doesn’t matter when the end of the world will come or when we will pass from this world into the next.  What matters is paying attention to the present.  Jesus calls us to be disciples who are attentive to his outpouring of grace at every moment, and who desire to witness to the presence of God by how we conduct our lives. As many holy Saints have shown us, it is faithfulness in the small things that shows our commitment to God. We can’t be perfect; however, we can be determined to turn to the Lord at all times and in all ways. By “staying awake” we demonstrate a commitment to offer every moment of every day to the honor and glory of God. The more we work at doing just that, the more we consecrate our stubborn and selfish hearts and minds to Jesus our Savior. At the same time, the less and less we will be inclined to settle for something short of being united to the heart and mind of Jesus.

Questions: Do I consciously dedicate each day to Jesus; to his honor and glory and the fulfillment of his will in my life? Is it my goal to honor God in even the mundane, ordinary tasks and responsibilities of my life? Am I committed to stay awake, to be faithful, to the Lord at all times?

Pray: Loving God, I offer you all of my prayers, works, joys and sufferings this day. Help me to desire nothing less than to be united with you and your Sacred Heart. I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Holy God; Holy and Mighty One; Holy and Immortal One: Have mercy on us and on the whole world.

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ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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