Prepared for the Master’s coming?

Word Alive by Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD  

December 1, 2019 /First Sunday of Advent Year A

One day, a father bought lotto tickets on his way home and distributed them to his family members, including their lolo (grandfather).

When the winning numbers came out the next day, lo and behold, the ticket given to the grandfather won the jackpot prize of P20 million. 

The son was afraid to break the news to him because his weak heart may not withstand the excitement.  So, he decided to invite a young priest-friend to carefully do it, which the priest readily accepted, thinking of the balato (share).

In the course of the conversation, the young priest said,  “By the way, lolo, supposing you won the lotto jackpot amounting P20 million, what will you do with it?”

“That’s a big amount, Father,” he replied. “Well, I’ll give P10 million to my grandchildren…and donate P10 million to you and your church!”

Stunned and overjoyed, the priest collapsed and died of heart attack! (To think it was the old man who had a weak heart!)

That amusing story may well illustrate how unexpected death can happen. In this First Sunday of Advent, the Lord reminds us to be “wide-awake” or prepared. “Be on guard,” Jesus says, “the Son of Man will come when you least expect him.” (Lk 12,40).

Preparedness is the beginning of true wisdom. “It will go well with those servants whom the Master finds watching on his return,” Jesus teaches.

Living wisely is looking ahead. “Living wisely” means not only being concerned with our present day-to-day needs but having an eye on our ultimate end in this world. To do so is like starting to pack up when your bus is already in front of your house to fetch you.

How is this “preparation” to be undertaken? Once there was an aging wealthy man who lived alone and began to make preparation for his demise. He bought a memorial plan along with an expensive coffin. Then he executed his last will and testament.  Not too long after, he died of heart failure. This man made provision, but it was for his body only and none for his soul.

Jesus tells us to be wise and prepared, like Noah did before the coming of the flood.  Already now, he tells us: “Store up treasures in heaven.” (Mt 6,20). By “treasures” Jesus refers to our good works and the faithful observance of the will of God as summed up in the 10 Commandments: “Honor your father and mother…thou shalt not kill… commit adultery…steal.”

In his parable of the Last Judgment (Mt 25,31ff.), Christ stresses that we do good works of mercy. “When I was hungry you gave me to eat, sick and in prison and you visited me…Enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Clearly, our acts of charity are also our “PASSPORT” to heaven.

How much have you done for the less fortunate? Have you been busy only in making money and enjoying life? The Lord does not condemn material wealth and enjoying its fruits, like going on world tours; rather he condemns the wealthy who are blind and insensitive to the plight of the poor and less fortunate. This is clearly illustrated in his Parable of the Rich Man and Poor Beggar (read Lk 16,19-31).

Spiritual preparation also means the faithful and honest performance of our duties and obligations in whatever capacities we serve, whether as a religious in vows, government officials or top executives.

God also expects us that we are not living in unrepented sins and unforgiving of our enemies.

Let’s live in such a way that when the inevitable end comes, the Master will find us “ready to open immediately when He knocks.” 

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GIVE LOVE. Let’s share love and joy this Christmas to the indigent sick we’re supporting, like five-year-old Genesis Ll., suffering from leukemia, Dante C.,  renal failure patient, M. Maranga, J. Lopez, R. Cayunda who have pulmonary ailments. You can do it by contributing an amount to buy medicines and pay their medical treatments.

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