Gird Your Loins, Light Your Lamps

Homily for Tuesday of the 29th Week in Ordinary Time

Every year, as we approach the end of the liturgical calendar, the Church begins to invite us to focus and reflect on the end times. As I said in my homily yesterday morning, Gospel passages like these are meant to shake us. They are meant to challenge us to consider whether we would be prepared if the Lord were to call us home. This is exactly what the Gospel is reminding us of today – be prepared because we do not know when that will be.

In a special way this year, in particular, as we continue toward the feast of Christ the King, I think many of us are going to be interpreting the readings that we hear at Mass in new ways. All of these readings we have heard before. But in light of all that we have experienced this year, so many of us have become aware of the fragility of life and the uncertainty of the future. If there is one thing that we have learned this year, it’s that we never know what is right around the corner. We never know what events might impact our lives tomorrow.

Think back to the beginning of 2020. In January, did any of us expect that our lives would be turned upside down by a global pandemic? I certainly didn’t. One day things were going as normal and then overnight, everything was shut down, people were forced to work from home, schools closed, churches were shuttered, we went without the sacraments for 3 months. As a human family, we have lost over a million of our brothers and sisters to this virus. It’s hard to believe how our world has changed in 9 months. But that’s our reality. And if that doesn’t make us realize about how uncertain life can be, I don’t know what will.

This isn’t something that should scare us, though. This isn’t something that should make us worry or have anxiety over. Instead, it’s a reality that the Lord might be using to invite us to reflect on how we are living our lives. Are we taking our relationship with Him seriously? Is He the most important person in our lives? Are we giving our prayer life the attention that it deserves? Are we going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis?

The Lord is telling us today: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be ready for the Bridegroom to return.” If Jesus were to come back today, would He find us ready to welcome Him? Only you can answer that question. All the Lord can do is invite us to be prepared. We have to make the decision to follow through with it. 

Published by Fr. Tom Pringle

Priest of the Diocese of Orlando. Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church, Orlando.

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