One of the themes of this week’s gospels asks if the Lord, at his return, will find faithful people: “You also must be prepared,for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” (Luke 12:40 from today’s gospel) Yesterday Jesus warns his disciples that they are to have their lights at the ready, lit, and prepared for His return. So, if the Lord came today, are you prepared?I think the instant, intuitive response is “Yikes, I’m not ready.” Perhaps it is a humble response or perhaps a quite realistic perception. Either way, there is always something that remains to be done. It is like moving house – only this move does not permit you to hire someone else to organize, pack up, and clean the house. You have make your own list and work the list to its completion.
So…what should be on your list? A person with whom you need to forgive or from whom you need to ask forgiveness? Sins you need to confess? Prayers and Worship that have taken a back seat to worldly pursuits? Are there things you have done or failed to do? What’s on your list?
And how do you plan to deal with the list. Here’s an option. You have a 2,000 sq.ft. house that is filled with life, memories, furniture, pictures, books, clothes for all occasions, kitchen ware, TVs….and things you have accumulated over a lifetime. Plan 1: wait until the movers come knocking and see if it can all get packed in one day… and not have anything lost, missing, misplaced, or broken at the end. Plan 2: carefully cushion, pack and box all the precious and valuable things from your house so that you know whatever happens these things are safeguarded.
I am going to recommend Plan 2. A classic spiritual implementation of this way is called the Daily Examen, a practice of Ignatian Spirituality. Perhaps more simply known as an examination of conscience – a review of one’s thoughts, words, actions, and omissions to discern their conformity with, or deviation from, what Christ asks of is. And then little by little, “work the list” so our lives conform to the image of Christ
If we are ready and when the Lord comes: “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.” (Luke 12:37)