Ephesians 2: 12-22
Remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
Psalm 85: 8-13
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
and will make a path for his steps.
Luke 12: 35-38
“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves."
“If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do differently today?” is a question sometimes posed in conversation, as a group ice-breaker, or by a speaker to a crowd. People’s responses range from completely indulging themselves (“I’d eat five gallons of ice cream!”) to accomplishing something they always wanted to do (“I’d go sky-diving!”) to altruistic (“I’d give away all my money”) to penitent (“I’d make peace with my estranged loved ones”), and these responses reveal a great deal about how the person views their life and the purpose of it.
The Gospel passage today can call us toward a similar type of reflection, as Jesus calls us to be vigilant servants keeping watch for the coming of the Master. Whether He is calling us to prepare for His Second Coming or for that day when we meet Him face to face, it is clear that His desire is for our lives to be oriented toward Him and always ready to receive Him. But what does that look like in daily life?
Even in the Christian life, it is possible to respond to God the way that the people in the first paragraph responded to the question about death. We can be tempted to see our lives as a journey toward fulfilling ourselves and eventually meeting God at the end as long as we are good enough people. We can also have more noble intentions, desiring to be great saints and serve others in this life. We might dream of doing something radical with our lives to make ourselves stand out and really make a difference in the world. While these intentions are admirable, they can become self-serving if we are not watchful of our attitudes and focus. In the Gospel, Jesus is expressing the importance of faithfulness no matter what the specifics of one’s life look like. He did not describe the servants’ different roles; what mattered most was that they were faithfully watching for the Master. Some of our greatest saints – and Mother Mary, Queen of Saints – achieved great levels of holiness simply by caring for their families and relentlessly seeking God in their lives. This is a great challenge to everyone, and a call where we can always strive, learn, and grow more.
As you begin the day today, reflect on how you can be a faithful servant to the Lord. Look at every detail, even the most insignificant, and ask the Lord how you can seek Him more fully and serve Him exactly where you are, so if He were to come today, He would find you watching for Him with everything you are.
Prayer: Lord, please help me be that vigilant servant today. Sometimes it is not as easy to see how you are using me, or the distractions of my daily life take my focus off you, but today I feel the call to look for you in all the circumstances of my life and to direct my actions, even the most basic, toward building your Kingdom. Please give me the grace to serve you in all I do, and to keep my eyes and heart searching for you alone. Amen.