An incident is reported that took place a few years ago.
A former astronaut took over as head of a major airline company.
>> He was extremely ambitious to make his company as the best airline service provider.
Once, when this new president was making an inspection of a particular department, he came across an employee…
…resting his feet on the desk, while the telephone was ringing continuously.
“Are you not going to pick up the phone?” queried the boss, with a sense of displeasure.
“That’s not my department!”, answered the employee indifferently!
>> He had not recognized his new boss.
” I work in the maintenance section!”, he replied.
“Huh!” quipped the president, “Not anymore!”
The casual attitude and the laid-back and easy-going approach of the employee cost him his job.
The new boss would not tolerate any people, who failed to show a sense a responsibility and commitment…
… which are essential and undeniable qualities in the pursuit of perfection and excellence!
What about us?
Is our Christian life characterized by responsibility and commitment?
>> Or do we have a casual attitude and a laid-back and easy-going approach?
The Gospel of the Day presents to us a strong reminder by the Lord to take our Christian life seriously…
… with its undeniable duties and its unavoidable sense of responsibility.
Jesus speaks of the coming of the Son of Man at an unexpected time…
… just as the coming of a thief is unknown to the master of a house (Lk 12: 39-40)
What are some of the characteristics of the coming of a thief to the house?
1. It usually happens in the quiet of the night….
… so that no one becomes aware and the setting is perfectly safe
>> There is a sense of ‘anonymity’
2. It takes place when none of the people in the house are expecting it…
… thus leaving them completely startled and unprepared
>> There is the element of ‘total surprise’
3. It happens in areas where there is emptiness or lesser security measures
… thus creating greater potency to danger and sharper damage
>> There is a factor of ‘missed opportunity to take care’
These then are the “loopholes” in our spiritual life, that can cause us to be off-guard…
… when the Lord appears in His Second Coming (just as the coming of the thief in the night)…
>> A sense of ‘anonymity’
>> An element of ‘total surprise’
>> A factor of ‘missed opportunity to take care’
Do we remain “anonymous” to the Lord…
… by remaining ignorant of His teachings and commandments – even though He addresses very often through the Bible and the Church?
… by failing to give heed to the repeated reminders by the Lord through various advices from our caring one, and the guidance we receive through sermons, reflections, messages and life-situations?
Do we get caught with “total surprise” at the Will of God in our lives…
… failing to see the providential hand of God in the struggles and hardships that we undergo?
… entering into a sense of despair and discouragement when things don’t happen the way we plan?
Do we become victims of “missing opportunities to take care”…
… by failing to do the many good works which we can perform, but fail, owing to our slackness?
… by taking the stance of being indifferent in situations of injustice and discriminations?
The Lord clearly warns even in the Book of Revelation…
… “If therefore you shall not watch, I will come to you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you.” (Rev 3:1-3)
Though this passage may cause a sense of fear and insecurity, we also need to consider, the converse…
… that if we are prepared and alert
… that if we are ready and vigilant
>> then the “coming of the Lord” becomes a joyful waiting and an expectant hope!
Nothing fears the one who is prepared, to meet the Lord!
St Paul encourages us through these words: ” But you brothers, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you as a thief!” ( 1 Thess 5: 2-4)
When we are in the Light of Christ…
… by a constant life of vigilant prayer
… by a faithful life of sacraments
… by a committed life to the Church
>> No darkness can overpower us; No fear of thieves can cause panic!
As Christians, each one us is entrusted the duty of being faithful “employees” of the Kingdom of God!
>> Are we going to “rest our feet on the desk”…
… with a casual attitude and a laid-back and easy-going approach…?
Or shall we be “armed and ever-ready to serve”…
… with a sense a responsibility and commitment…?
May the words of St Francis de Sales, the Patron Saint of the MSFS (on this Foundation Day of the Congregation) be a motivation:
>> “Be what you are, and be at its best!”
Yes.. let us be ready…
>> Our Boss – The Lord – may come anytime….!
Today we also seek the intercession of St Antony Mary Claret, the founder of the Congregation of the Claretians and be inspired by his words:
“Love is the most necessary of all virtues.
Love in the person who preaches the word of God is like fire in a musket.
>> If a person were to throw a bullet with his hands, he would hardly make a dent in anything…
… but if the person takes the same bullet and ignites some gunpowder behind it, it can kill.
It is much the same with the word of God.
>> If it is spoken by someone who is filled with the fire of charity- the fire of love of God and neighbor- it will work wonders.
God Bless! Live Jesus!