Scripture: 1st Reading: 1Thess5,1-6,9-11; Resp. Psalm: Ps27,1,4,13-14; Gosp. Accl.: Lk7,16; Gospel: Luke4,31-37
We know the times and the seasons. We can predict the elements. Man had made a lot of technological advancements in virtually all spheres of life. There have been different scientific discoveries that enhance the quality of life.
We can therefore say that man has made progress. But there can be no discovery in one aspect that confounds man: the knowledge of the day of the Lord, the day of man's definitive encounter with God, the day of recompense for the good or evil we do here on earth.
That day confounds each and every one of us. The word of the Lord today uses two very well known metaphors to describe how that day will manifest itself: the first is that it will come like a thief in the night, that is, unexpected, unprovided for, unwelcome, with some measure of violent intrusion or force.
The second metaphor is that of a woman in labour pains. Experience teaches that labour pain is not pleasant. It is sudden and there is no escape. It gives no forewarning. It comes at its own time. It comes even sometimes when everything appears peaceful, serene and secure.
The word of the Lord uses these two metaphors that we know too well to warn us not to be caught unawares. It tells us that since we have received Christ into our lives, we should not ordinarily live in darkness any longer for the day to surprise us like a thief in the night.
The word thus admonished us not to sleep but to be awake and sober. It assures us that God has not destined us for wrath but for salvation. God has destined us to see His goodness in the land of the living. He has willed it that we should live in His house all the days of our lives, to gaze on His beauty, to contemplate Him in His holy temple.
This is why the word of the Lord in today's Psalm should come to us both as an expression of faith and as a deep consolation: "the Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; whom should I dread?"
Our Lord Jesus Himself during His earthly mission, abundantly demonstrated the power He would bequeath to us. He comprehensively dealt with unclean and demonic spirits to such an extent that the people were astonished at his teaching because His word was with authority and power. With Him on our side, what should we dread?
Let us therefore prepare ourselves daily. Let us constantly examine our consciences to see if there is deep within our hearts any unclean thought. Let us examine our actions to see if they are in conformity with His will.
Let us be resolute if we are on the right track. Let us beat a retreat if we are headed the wrong direction. Let us remember: the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. It will surprise us the way a woman us surprised in labour. Let us be wise.
Let us pray: Lord our God, you are the God of love. We thank you for your word today. We are grateful for the challenge it gives us and especially for the call to prepare. Take our hearts away from the distractions that constantly lead us away from you. Give us your grace to prepare well for your coming by living every day as if it were our end. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.