Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C.

Lk 12: 32 – 48 (35 – 40)

Prayer
Sow freely, Lord God, the seed of your word over the world.  May it fall on good soil in us and may it be heard by all.

The reading for this Sunday is long. I have chosen to take just a part of it. When praying Scripture it is always good to use less text than more. This reading is a collection of a number of Jesus’ sayings. Each one has its own importance. However there is a theme that is common to all; as you read try to identify this theme.

I have arranged the text so that each saying stands out on its own.

35Jesus said to his disciple: “See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit.

36Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.

37Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them. 38It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready.

39You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house.

40You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at the hour you do not expect.”

You have probably noticed that waiting is the common theme.

When praying a passage like this it is important to take each saying on its own. Read it slowly and let it speak to you. Frequently these sayings of Jesus of are metaphors or comparisons. They are not meant to be read literally. Allow them to enter into your imagination. Let them bring up your feelings and bring back memories. In this way we will discover the truth of the saying, and in the process we experience God calling us to spiritual growth. Finally the sayings are not just referring to spiritual matters, they are universally true. They apply to our daily lives and the life of the community we live in.

* * * * * *

35Jesus said to his disciple: “See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit.

Here we are called to be open to a new / a different approach to doing things. Jesus certainly called the people of his time to be open to approaching life differently and now he is calling us. For example Jesus’ opposition to the legalistic approach to Sabbath, freed and unburdened people. We are being challenged to look again at the way we live our lives.  For example; do we live according to, “Love God and love your neighbour as yourself?”

Each one of us has been blessed with an abundance of gifts. Have I developed my many talents? Am I ready, is the lamp of my talents burning so that I may be a bearer of Good News when the Lord asks this of me. The opportunity to respond to God’s call will come.  We will be given a moment of grace. Be open to change, do not miss it!

* * * * * *

36Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.

The theme of waiting and being ready continues. We think of waiting as something negative. Waiting is wasting time. In Scripture however, waiting is a creative moment.  When I wait for others, I give them space to be themselves, respecting them and letting them exercise their creativity. We do this with love, so that we can walk together in mutual enrichment. 1

We are being called to make the world like a wedding celebration. Let us make our part of the world a little more like the way God wants it to be. Our God is a gentle God. He gently knocks at the door of our hearts. Are we ready to respond this moment of grace?  Perhaps we are being called to give up a bad habit; to forgive a long-standing hurt; make greater use of Scripture in my prayer life.

* * * * * *

37Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them. 38It may be in the second watch he comes, or in the third, but happy those servants if he finds them ready.

Let these words speak to your imagination. Enter into the scene. Can you imagine God serving you a meal?  Our God is indeed a generous God.

* * * * * *

39You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house.

At first glance this is quite a frightening picture. Try turning it around. God is determined that we should be the best persons we can possibly be. He is not going to be put off by the barriers we put up to stop him.

* * * * * *

40You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at the hour you do not expect.”

Our passage closes on the wonderful note of hope. Do not lose hope. Be assured by Jesus that God is active in our lives and the whole world. Keep watching and you will begin to see what God is doing.

  1. De Verteuil M; Lectio Divina with the Sunday Gospels  p 174
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