Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
“Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves 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 wicked slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and he begins to beat his fellow slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, 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. He will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
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! Be prepared! We truly do not know the day or hour that the Lord will come, nor how or through who/what circumstances. We have several options of how to approach this text. We could be anxious about this, so anxious that we spin in our minds and miss the gentle suggestions God offers us on how to be prepared or watch for grace. We could ignore the warning, the way we are able to ignore the suffering of those that are marginalized or experiencing violence.
We could also approach this as a reminder of the endless opportunities we have to encounter God. We can treat every person we encounter with respect and dignity, as we might encounter grace through them. We can meet the joyful times recognizing those moments as gifts so we might savor the grace we receive. We can meet challenges with an acknowledgement of our struggles, as well as the confidence that God is present within those times.
We can encounter those who are suffering from violence and hatred as a call to respond and seek to build the Kingdom. An element of Ignatian spirituality is the call to “Find God in All Things.” Today’s reading invites us to seek and find God in all things, so we might quiet the anxiety and indifference that prevents us from staying awake to the movement of God in our world.
—Lauren Schwer is the Associate Director of Campus Ministry at Loyola University Chicago.
Loving and faithful God,
You give us endless opportunities to experience your love and grace. We ask for light and wisdom to recognize your presence in all situations and in all people. Help us to open our hearts and minds so we are prepared to welcome you in every moment of our day. We thank you for your unending mercy and love.