Today, people stay awake all night for a variety of reasons: in our homes, mothers stay awake with sick children; in workplaces—nurses look after their patients at night, pilots and drivers in public transporting systems work for the wellbeing of society, police and other first responders work for the safety of us and our loved ones. All of these jobs require staying awake, discipline, and sacrifice.
In recent years, we have become increasingly security conscious. We are much more aware of the need to keep doors locked than we were previously, and house alarms have become essential. In His teaching, Jesus often used images from the experiences of the people he was speaking to. First, in today's gospel, we find the image of a thief surprising someone by breaking into their house. His people could clearly relate to this experience. If Jesus were to address people today in our times, maybe He would refer instead to a goalkeeper in a soccer game who lets a surprise ball go into his goal.
This week we will conclude our readings of Matthew's five eschatological discourses. Each of these discourses discusses Christ's second and final coming at the end of all things to bring everything together.
Matthew's description of the thief's strategy emphasizes the element of surprise. To avoid being surprised by the thief, the owner or servant must stay awake all night. Jesus compares his disciples to the servant and owner who have to stay awake all night to protect their property by saying: "you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come."
It is the Lord's nature to live in constant awareness of us. It is our job to live in continual awareness of Him as well. The Lord is not always present in our minds and hearts because so many other things occupy our attention. Yet, the Lord asks us to keep Him there. Considering and being aware of his constant presence will help us be prepared when He either comes to earth again or takes us to be with Him through death, whichever comes first.
We will not be surprised when he comes. Meanwhile, we will not only gain wisdom and perspective but also live our lives with the end in mind, with eternal life in our hearts.
To view Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live, please visit our Facebook page at 11:30 am EDT, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
About Father Boby John, C.S.C.
Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.