Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Be Vigilant, Our Lord Comes

By Beth DeCristofaro

(Jesus) came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.  So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.  (Ephesians 1:17-20)

Jesus said to his disciples:  “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.  Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. (Luke 12: 35-37)

Grant us, Lord, we pray,
A sincere respect for your gifts,
That, through the purifying action of your grace,
We may be cleansed by the very mysteries we serve.
Through Christ our Lord.
        (Prayer over the Offerings from the Mass for the Day)

A dear friend of mine says that among the reasons that she loves being Catholic are two important ones.  First is the Truth of Christ’s actual presence in the Eucharist which is such an awesome, undeserved gift.  The second is that at any time or place that she would like to attend a Mass she can find one (within reason!) where she always feels at home even if the liturgy is in another language or the hymns are not known to her.  She feels that as Catholics we have a unique opportunity to share this marvelous celebration of God’s word and presence.  Around the globe at any time of the day or night there is liturgy being said which, my friend counts as an essential need for our broken, complicated world and for her in navigating it day to day.

The liturgy, sacraments, our private prayer practices are ways in which we “gird our loins” and become aware.  Amid our culture which recommends upgrading, doing what feels convenient, and valuing “my” journey over the adherence to an institution, our religious practices can be the lights which guide us. 

As a “replenishing” of the oil in your lamp, attend liturgy at a time and place that are new for you or try a new prayer form.  Pray also for the Bishops who leave the Synod in Rome and return to their home dioceses where the world is moving fast and their flocks are in need of accessible, loving, vigilant Shepherds.

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