By Fr. Harry Brown, C.PP.S.
Today’s scripture readings deal with the journey of life and preparedness. Life cannot be a journey without destiny. This outlook on life requires faith in God. It is like the faith in his father that truly makes a child feel safe when the child does not know where this journey will go.
God has given mothers and fathers charge of their children—to train, to feed and clothe, to direct, to correct, and to be responsible for them. Today’s Gospel is a warning to careless parents (and there are many today), and an encouragement to conscientious parents (and there are many). For example, good parents will listen to their children, will be available to them, will do things together, etc. Today’s Gospel stresses living a good life and being ready for the Lord when He comes again. “We know not the hour.”
The true story is told of a mother who had a fidgety little boy with her in church. During the homily, she leaned over and whispered something in his ear. The little lad was as good as gold for the rest of the Mass. After Mass, the priest asked her what she said. She said, “If you don’t behave, Father will lose his place and then he will have to start all over again.” That ended that!
In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us to be ready for the Kingdom. Yes, the people of Jesus’ day expected it soon. So also the earliest Christians expected it soon. We don’t know when it will happen. Jesus only says: “Be ready!” He also calmly tells us: “Do not live in fear, little flock.”
And yet we know that fear is part of life. We remember that it was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who said in his 1933 inaugural address, “that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” The United States at that time was sunk in a deep economic depression, which I experienced at two years old. Our family’s faith pulled us through this crisis. Does our faith in the words of Jesus calm our fears today? Especially about the great issues of life and death? The letter to the Hebrews in this Mass tells us that “faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for…”
Our faith is based on the reality of all that God has done for us. The only thing we have to fear, is not fear, but a lack of faith. God Bless.
Fr. Harry Brown, C.PP.S., is in ministry at the Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Bellevue, Ohio.