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The Lateness of the Hour


“Life is while you still have teeth.” ~ Author Unknown

Today’s Gospel (Luke 12:35-38) is a lesson in preparation, a reminder that we must live our lives in such a way that when Jesus does in fact come again in his glory, we will lovingly greet him as servants anticipating their master’s long awaited return.

We’re often told, whether it be through the incessant advertisements that bombard us on television screens, billboards, radios or even the printed page, or perhaps by that co-worker who is seemingly forever preparing for or returning from an exotic vacation, that “life is short.” That we in turn ought to partake of as much as it has to offer while we still have the chance to do it.

….While we’re still young, an admittedly very arbitrary swath of time.

….Before we get married and are unable to freely come and go as we once did in our single days.

T-shirts and other assorted articles of clothing proclaim this message too. Coincidentally enough, after leaving Mass this morning I happened upon a woman in Walmart who wore a sweatshirt which proclaimed ”Life Is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake.” Despite her choice in wardrobe, I happened to notice that her shopping cart was devoid of both black stilettos and red velvet cake. I’d venture to say there isn’t one person reading this who hasn’t at one point or another marveled at how fast the years have gone by, whether in reference to life in general or perhaps an event that you had looked forward to. Or dreaded.

But ask yourself this question: Have you ever heard anyone say “Life is short...I better take advantage of this fleeting opportunity to get to know Jesus as deeply and as intimately as possible?” After all, if the beatific vision followed by eternal life in the New Heaven and the New Earth is our hope, wouldn’t solidifying and growing that relationship with the Holy Trinity supersede three days of white water rafting in Colorado? With our heavenly dwelling place hanging in the balance, perhaps we’ve been dangerously distracted, tricked even, into placing stock in things that are utterly insignificant in the bigger, eternal picture.

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So how does one “gird their loins” and “light their lamps” (Luke 12:35) in preparation of their inevitable appointment in the judgment seat in a world that largely discourages it? Pray for the gifts of wisdom, discernment, discipline, moderation, and balance. Pray particularly hard for prudence These gifts are attainable, but not easily so. For many, the pursuit is a lifetime journey. Quiet time in Eucharistic Adoration is helpful, as is the Rosary and the Sacramental life. In the Eucharist for instance, we seek to ultimately “become what we consume.” There was never a person who walked the Earth whose eyes were more fixed on eternity than Jesus.

God Himself is preparing us for eternity. In cooperating with Him, we can achieve amazing things; for an eternal perspective changes everything.

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