Wake-up call

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25 October 2017

How do you react to a wake-up call?

Maybe it’s a warning light on the dashboard of your car. Perhaps it’s a pain in your chest. Or maybe the bank alerts you to transactions that are out of the ordinary. When any of these wake-up calls occur, we tend to respond quickly.

Jesus has told us earlier in the Gospel readings that we should not fear, that we should not be anxious. However, in this Gospel, we are given a spiritual wake up call. We are told be alert to unfaithfulness and to complacency.

The Creeds and liturgical statements affirm that Christ will come to judge the living and the dead and all of us will need to account for our deeds. Early Christians expected that the second coming of Christ would happen in their lifetime. What added to this expectation was the fact that Jerusalem along with the temple had been destroyed in 70 AD.

Two thousand years after Christ ascended to heaven, we are still waiting.

Our culture is not inclined to wait. Fast food, credit cards, and the ‘sexual revolution’ come to mind. Whether it is waiting in a queue, on the phone or even just for the computer to start, waiting can be incredibly frustrating.

We don’t have to dig too deep in the bible to see that waiting is something men and women of faith are often called to do.

So what can we learn about waiting?

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, [and be] like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”

In this parable, Jesus provides three steps:

Be prepared – “be dressed ready…” have things in place to sustain the journey.
Maintenance – “keep your lamps burning.”
And be expectant – “[and be] like men waiting for their master.”

In scripture, we read over and over again that faithfulness always brings God’s blessings. This parable is no different, and the nature of that reward is astounding. Those servants who are found actively waiting for the Master will be blessed by having Him serve them.

So there’s the blessing. Now the warning – the wake-up call.

We have been entrusted with certain things, and faithfulness requires that we manage those things wisely and unselfishly. As we ponder this Gospel today, let us reflect on our responsibilities and ask ourselves do we fulfil them in a loving and committed way?
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