Lk 12: 32-48

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

“But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for everyone?” And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and prudent manager whom his master will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions.

But if that slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and if he begins to beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and put him with the unfaithful. That slave who knew what his master wanted, but did not prepare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a severe beating. But the one who did not know and did what deserved a beating will receive a light beating.

From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Stay Awake and Be Ready

Since I was a boy, I knew I wanted to be a Jesuit—but I also knew that it takes a very long time to become an ordained Jesuit priest. Even after their ordination, Jesuits are always in school, always learning! Knowing this, my grandmother used to say to me, “Right now is the time to prepare yourself to learn for the rest of your life. Stay awake with your vocation so you’ll be ready when the time comes.”

In today’s reading from Luke, Jesus gives us a similar challenge: “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit.” In other words, “Stay awake and be ready!” These words call us to a constant spiritual awareness. The Kingdom of God is not a destination that lies ahead, but rather an invitation to engage in the here and now with an alert mind and a wide-awake spirit.

—Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ, is a Jesuit regent and assistant professor of psychology at Creighton University. He is the Author of The Spiritual Work of Racial Justice and The Crucible of Racism.

Prayer

Wake me up, I pray, Jesus. May I be always ready to hear your call to action, and may my heart be lit with your love. Amen.

—Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ