Saint John of Capistrano, Priest (Optional Memorial)
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)
It may seem odd that Jesus would compare himself to a thief when preaching about his Second Coming. Also, why did he use the example of a harsh master who punishes his servants for not being ready? Maybe he did it as a wake-up call for people who have neglected their relationship with God. But what about those of us who have been trying our best to follow him? Should we start worrying too?
Certainly not. Jesus doesn’t want to frighten us into the kingdom.
There is no doubt an element of mystery regarding Jesus’ 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 Jesus tells us that our entire Christian life hinges on being ready. The best way to do that is by practicing readiness every day. Not the readiness of someone dreading a coming disaster, but the readiness of a disciple living in trust and faith. That kind of readiness involves being attentive and flexible, holding our own agendas loosely, and trusting that God has a perfect—if sometimes mysterious—plan for our lives.
So try to be open to the surprising ways Jesus 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. Those unexpected requests from relatives, friends, or coworkers 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, I want to be ready to welcome you in whatever way you come into my life today.”
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