Nov 18 (Mk 13:24-32)

There is an incident from the American Revolution which beautifully illustrates the tragedy that can follow from procrastination – the habit of postponing or delaying something.

It is reported that a Colonel who was the commander of the British troops in Trenton, New Jersey, was playing cards when a courier brought an urgent message stating that General George Washington was crossing the Delaware River.

The Colonel put the letter in his pocket and didn’t bother to read it until the game was finished.

Later, realizing the seriousness of the situation, he hurriedly tried to rally his men to meet the coming attack, but his procrastination was his undoing.

>> He and many of his men were killed and the rest of the regiment were captured.

Just a “few minutes of delay” cost him his life, his honour, and the liberty of his soldiers!

Any profession…any activity…to achieve its goal in the best manner possible…

… requires a tough preparation, unabated determination, a constant movement and an unwavering vigilance!

The Gospel of the Day, speaking of the Second Coming of the Son of Man, is a strong exhortation to be “constantly on the watch”, being vigilant and ready, to receive the Lord in His glory.

Our Blessed Lord draws the illustration of the Fig Tree to point to the fact that “one must become aware of the signs of the times” and be constantly “on the watch”.

Jesus says, “From the fig tree, learn the lesson!” (Mk 13:28)

When we look into our lives, we find that we are “highly disciplined and well-prepared” with respect to professional disciplines and careers…

> Sportspersons sweat it out and slog their bodies through a strict routine…to achieve the best!

> Army personnel undergo a hard grilling and a grinding through tough situations…to achieve the best!

> Musicians train their voices and are extremely cautious in avoiding bad food habits…to achieve the Best!

> Scientists meticulously chalk out their experiments and are very careful in minute aspects…to achieve the Best!

But very often, it is seen, that such an attitude & such a principle is not applied to Spirituality or our Christian Life?!

>> There seems to be a tendency to take our Christian Life as a routine and for granted….

>> There seems to be a feeling to live our Spiritual Lives in relaxation and lethargy and sluggishness…

>> There seems to be a trend to give least botheration to the aspects of God, Soul, Sin, Grace, Salvation etc…..

>>> Why does Spirituality most often find the least place in our lives?

>> Why do thoughts of Holiness be entertained least in our minds?

> Why do talks of God, figure so little in our daily chats?

It’s time to wake up from our sleep…

“… know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep.

For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand…” (Rom 13: 11-12a)

These words from the Letter to the Romans, which had awakened St Augustine from his slumber of paganism, sexual immorality and loose living into the freedom of Holiness and Sanctity… is addressed also to each one of us….

>> In Mt 24: 42-44, Jesus says, “Stay Awake……and Be Alert!”

With respect to the coming of the Son of Man…

… No one knows the time or the hour

… No one knows the context or situation

Therefore….we need to be alert and watchful at all times – Any time, Any Context!

>> When Abraham was prepared to give up his Beloved Isaac… he encountered the glory of God!

>> When Moses was ready to follow God and trust Him completely… he encountered the power of God!

>> When Israelites were ready to cleanse themselves and prepare…they encountered the Majesty of God!

>> When the Prophets were willing to let go and abandon fully to God’s hands…..they encountered the Voice of God!

>> When Mother Mary was consenting to God’s Will in Her life…she encountered the ‘Grace’fulness of God!

>> When the Apostles were eager to wait in humility and prayer….they encountered the Spirit of God!

Yes, when we are willing to be prepared and be ready… we will experience the mighty touch and presence of God!

One of the biggest reasons why a Christian fails to take one’s faith seriously is because of Procrastination…

>> We mould ourselves to thinking that there is time for all this later…

… we still have years ahead to repent and atone!

And this certainly is one of Satan’s most successful strategies in today’s world: To show there is still time!

>> Satan doesn’t prevent us from having thoughts of prayer…

… but he says: not now, do it a little later.

>> Satan doesn’t prevent us from having aspirations of fasting and other pious devotions…

… but he says: not now, do it later

>> Satan doesn’t prevent us from engaging in works of charity….

… but he says: not now, do it later

And we, busy with our daily schedules……like ignorant fools… find that suggestion, practical and feasible!

>> Today the Lord gets serious in His tone…and warns us: “Watch! Be alert!”

As someone said, “those who hope to repent and amend at the eleventh hour, may perhaps, die at ten-thirty!”

We give the best in our workplaces… in areas of sports and music… army people & scientists slog to be the best…

>> But why are we slackening when it comes to our Faith and our Christian Life?

We invest our time and money and energy, often only for materialistic and passing things of the world!

>> But today, let us seek to invest of ourselves in service of the Kingdom and to prepare for the Lord’s coming

> Our souls are searching…

> Our bodies are agitated and distressed…

>>> Money, positions, power, sex, drugs, alcohol, pleasures, films, criticism….. none of these will satisfy or gratify us!

Let us seek and thirst for the One whom our souls are searching….

.. and be constantly on the “watch and vigilance” preparing for the Coming of our Blessed Lord!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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