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The Lateness of the Hour

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“Life is short...smile 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, 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” and that we ought to partake of as much as it has to offer while we still have the chance to do it.

Or while we’re still young.

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

T-shirts proclaim this message too, as I coincidentally enough happened to notice earlier this afternoon. “Life Is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake” read the one that I saw on a woman in the supermarket, although her shopping cart was devoid of both stilettos and red velvet cake. I’d venture to say that there isn’t one person reading this who hasn’t marveled at one point or another about how fast the years have appeared to have gone by, whether in reference to your life or perhaps simply an event or seminal moment that you had looked forward to. Or dreaded.

Yet ask yourself this question: Have you ever heard anyone say “Life is short...I better take advantage of this fleeting opportunity while here on Earth to get to know Jesus as deeply and intimately as possible.” After all, if it’s our hope to be with him in heaven for all of eternity, wouldn’t solidifying and growing that relationship supersede 3 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 putting too much importance into things that are insignificant in the bigger, eternal picture.

So how does one “gird their loins” and “light their lamps” in preparation of our Lord in a world that largely discourages it? Pray for the gifts of wisdom, discernment, discipline, moderation and balance. Theas gifts are attainable, but not easily so. For many of us, it’s a lifetime journey. Quiet time in adoration is helpful, as is the Rosary and the Sacraments. 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.