Posted by: frburke23 | August 24, 2016

Thought for Thursday, 21st Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 24:42-59
 
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
 
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,
whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” ===================================
Reflecting on this Gospel, I was reminded of a time when I was about 7 years old. My two older brothers and I were playing in our basement during a summer day while my parents were at work. My oldest brother was about 14 at the time. During our game, we heard a banging upstairs. It was normal for my Dad to come home for lunch to check on us, so I thought it was Dad knocking on the door. As I began to climb the stairs I looked up and saw a stranger beginning to enter our house through the garage. I froze in my tracks and all I could say was, “Dad?”
I don’t know who was more scared – me or the stranger. He quickly ran out of the house and I stood frozen in fear on the stairs for a few minutes. My brothers finally came to see what was happening and I explained to them that someone had broken into the house. He had kicked the back door in and that was the banging that we heard. When I said, “Dad?” he quickly ran away. So we called my Dad to come home quickly and we all grabbed baseball bats and sat huddled together on the couch until my Dad came home.
The man had thought that our house was empty when he broke in. Fortunately nothing worse happened. And for that, I thank God. I don’t think the man was ever caught that day.
“Be sure of this: if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
The reason I share my story is that I had no idea when that thief was coming. In the same way, we don’t know when Jesus will come for us. He is not a thief, but He may come for us when we least expect Him. If we are ready, Jesus’ coming will be great delight and we have nothing to fear. If we are not ready, it will be a time of great panic and distress.
 
I have celebrated funerals of people much younger than I. Often we feel invincible when we are young. We think we have plenty of time to get our lives in order. We think that we can “live it up” when we are young and later we can put our lives in order. But you never know when your time will be to meet the Lord face to face.
How do we prepare ourselves for the Lord’s coming? “Pray unceasingly…” St. Paul tells us. Turning our lives over to the Lord every day is another way to prepare ourselves. A great sign of our union with God is the measure that we love and forgive others. And strengthening ourselves with regular reception of the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation is a must. If we make Jesus Christ the absolute center of lives in this way, there is no need to be afraid.
Have a great day. Prepare the way of the Lord!
Fr. Burke
 
Spanish translation:
 
Mateo 24:42-51
En aquel tiempo, Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: “Velen y estén preparados, porque no saben qué día va a venir su Señor. Tengan por cierto que si un padre de familia supiera a qué hora va a venir el ladrón, estaría vigilando y no dejaría que se le metiera por un boquete en su casa. También ustedes estén preparados, porque a la hora en que menos lo piensen, vendrá el Hijo del hombre.
 
Fíjense en un servidor fiel y prudente, a quien su amo nombró encargado de toda la servidumbre para que le proporcionara oportunamente el alimento. Dichoso ese servidor, si al regresar su amo, lo encuentra cumpliendo con su deber. Yo les aseguro que le encargará la administración de todos sus bienes.
 
Pero si el servidor es un malvado, y pensando que su amo tardará, se pone a golpear a sus compañeros, a comer y emborracharse, vendrá su amo el día menos pensado, a una hora imprevista, lo castigará severamente y lo hará correr la misma suerte de los hipócritas. Entonces todo será llanto y desesperación”.
=========================
Reflexionando sobre este Evangelio, me acordé de una vez cuando tenía unos 7 años de edad. Mis dos hermanos mayores y yo estábamos jugando en el sótano durante un día de verano, mientras mis padres estaban en el trabajo. Mi hermano mayor tenía cerca de 14 en aquel entonces. Durante nuestro juego, escuchamos unos golpes en el piso de arriba. Era normal que mi papá viniera a casa para el almuerzo para vernos, así que pensé que era papá golpeando la puerta. Cuando comencé a subir las escaleras vi hacia arriba y vi a un extraño comenzando a entrar en nuestra casa por la cochera. Me quedé inmóvil y todo lo que pude decir fue: “¿Papá?”
 
No sé quién estaba más asustado – yo o el desconocido. Salió corriendo rápidamente de la casa y yo me quedé congelado de miedo en las escaleras durante unos minutos. Mis hermanos finalmente vinieron a ver lo que estaba pasando y yo les explique que alguien había entrado en la casa. Él había pateado la puerta de atrás y ese fue el golpe que escuchamos. Cuando yo dije: “¿Papá?” rápidamente se escapó. Así que llamamos a papá para que volviera a casa rápidamente y todos agarramos bates de béisbol y nos sentamos acurrucados en el sofá hasta que llegó a casa.
 
El hombre pensó que nuestra casa estaba vacía cuando entró. Afortunadamente no pasó nada peor. Y por eso, doy gracias a Dios. No creo que el hombre jamás haya sido capturado ese día.
 
“Tengan por cierto que si un padre de familia supiera a qué hora va a venir el ladrón, estaría vigilando y no dejaría que se le metiera por un boquete en su casa. También ustedes estén preparados, porque a la hora en que menos lo piensen, vendrá el Hijo del hombre”.
 
La razón por la que comparto mi historia es que no tenía ni idea de cuando ese ladrón habría de venir. De la misma manera, no sabemos cuándo Jesús vendrá por nosotros. Él no es un ladrón, pero Él puede venir por nosotros cuando menos lo esperemos. Si estamos preparados, la venida de Jesús será un gran deleite y no tenemos nada que temer. Si no estamos preparados, será un tiempo de gran pánico y angustia.
 
He celebrado funerales de personas mucho más jóvenes que yo. A menudo nos sentimos invencibles cuando somos jóvenes. Creemos que tenemos mucho tiempo para poner nuestras vidas en orden. Creemos que podemos “vivir la vida” cuando somos jóvenes y más tarde podremos poner nuestras vidas en orden. Nunca sabes cuándo llegará tu tiempo de conocer al Señor cara a cara.
 
¿Cómo nos preparamos para la venida del Señor? “Orar sin cesar…” San Pablo nos dice. Entregar nuestras vidas al Señor cada día es otra forma de prepararnos. Una gran señal de nuestra unión con Dios es la medida que amamos y perdonamos a los demás. Y fortalecernos con la recepción regular de los Sacramentos de la Eucaristía y la Reconciliación es un deber. Si hacemos a Jesucristo el centro absoluto de la vida de esta manera, no hay necesidad de tener miedo.
 
Que tangas un gran día. ¡Prepara el camino del Señor!
Padre Burke

Responses

  1. Hello Father Burke,

    It was nice meeting you after hearing so much about you from my husband, Bill, last night. All kidding aside, I know he took great delight in meeting you face-to-face finally!

    I was particularly glad that my 24-year-old daughter decided at the last minute to join us. She has pretty much fallen away from attending mass, as many young people do, and doesn’t really “get much out of mass ” at our church. I’m hoping that she finds what she is seeking, and she told us how much she truly enjoyed hearing your testimony.

    I wanted to tell you that you mentioned how often young men are discerning the priesthood and need to be approached. Sometimes, as grown men, they had mentioned that they had wished someone had just reached out to them and suggested it. Although they had gone on to live fruitful and happy lives, the priesthood was something that they would’ve pursued if someone had asked. I was thinking of a young man that we know in our program who has just gone off to college and had expressed some consideration and confusion about his future. He knew his parents would be very against the priesthood. So this morning, I sent him a Facebook message. He knows me, but he’s very close to my husband. I told him that I was aware of his discernment and that I had enjoyed your talk last night and that it would benefit him to reach out to you to maybe get some guidance. 😊 his name is Mitchell Warren, in case you hear from him. He told me how grateful he was that I had sent him that message and that he was going to reach out to you. It was almost like he was waiting for me for someone to say something to him.

    Just wanted to let you know that.

    Rose Weismann

    Ps we found out that we know of someone that you know really well! But I will let Bill tell you about that! LOL

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Thanks Rose. It was nice to meet you also. I look forward to hearing from Mitchell. Have a blessed day!


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