Catholic Meditations

Meditation: Luke 12:39-48

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Saint John Paul II, Pope

If the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. (Luke 12:39)

Why would Jesus compare himself to a thief when preaching about his Second Coming? Why did he use the example of a harsh master who punishes his servants for not being ready? For those who have neglected their relationship with God, this imagery can certainly be a wake-up call. But what about those of us who have been trying our best to follow him? Should we start worrying?

Certainly not. Jesus doesn’t want to frighten us into the kingdom. But there is surely an element of mystery regarding his Second Coming. No matter how spiritual we are, it’s going to surprise us. We know that he will come “upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). But we don’t know exactly what that will look like or when it’s going to happen. We can only expect that when the infinite enters the finite, the status quo of everyday life will be disrupted!

Since Jesus’ return will astonish everyone, we might suppose there’s no way to prepare for it. But his own words tell us that our entire Christian life hinges on getting ready. He wants us to take up our cross daily and follow him. In order to find our life, we have to lose it (Luke 9:23-24; 14:33).

The best way to get ready for Jesus’ return is to let him make his home in your heart. In your prayer time, try to be open to the surprising ways he may want to speak to you—not just through his word but through the gentle voice of the Spirit or through the actions and words of the people around you. As you go through your day, be open to the interruptions that come to you. Those unexpected requests from relatives, friends, or co-workers may be Jesus giving you an opportunity to serve him. You don’t have to wait for the end of the world to see him; he’s knocking at your door right now!

“Lord, may I welcome you in whatever form you come today—in the conviction of your holy word, in the presence of my neighbor, and in all the blessings you send to me.”

Ephesians 3:2-12; (Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6

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