Sunday 07 August 2022 – A TICKET TO THE BANQUET

19th Sunday of the Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Wisdom 18:6–9

The night of the Passover was known beforehand to our fathers, that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith, they might have courage.  Your people awaited the salvation of the just and the destruction of their foes.  For when you punished our adversaries, in this you glorified us whom you had summoned.  For in secret the holy children of the good were offering sacrifice and putting into effect with one accord the divine institution.

2nd Reading: Hebrews 11:1–2, 8–19

Brothers and sisters: Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.  Because of it the ancients were well attested.  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go.  By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise; for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God.  By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age —and Sarah herself was sterile— for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy.  So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore.  All these died in faith.  They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth, for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland.  If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come, they would have had opportunity to return.  But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one.  Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.  By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.”  He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol.

Gospel: Luke 12:32–48

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your belongings and give alms.  Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.  For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.  “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. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.  And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.  You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,

the Son of Man will come.” Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.  Truly, I say to you, the master will put the servant in charge of all his property.

But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful.  That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly.  Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

A TICKET TO THE BANQUET: Being a Christian is like being a servant whose master has gone on a journey. The master went without revealing to the servant when he will come back. The master did not carry the key for the gate with him. He left it with the servant. A good servant is one who is vigilant, one who is all the time on the lookout so that when the master comes back, he will be ready to open the gate even before the master knocks at it. Such a servant, the master will be pleased with because he does not sleep on the job. Christ ascended to heaven but promised to come back. He did not say when he will come back.  When he comes back and find his disciples ready to welcome him, he will be very pleased with them. Should he come and find them not ready, he will be very much disappointed. Being ready to welcome Christ means doing his will all the time. If Christ comes and finds his disciples busy doing his will, surely Christ will reward that disciple. Christ will reward that disciple by welcoming him/her into the heavenly banquet. Not doing the will of Christ is denying oneself an opportunity to dine in the heavenly banquet. Who wants to miss that opportunity? A ticket to participate in the heavenly banquet is nothing but doing the will of God at all time.

Prayer: May you find all people ready to welcome you when you return in glory Lord.


KEEPING VIGIL: When we were baptized in the name of Jesus, we were ready to become followers of Christ at all time. Christianity is not like an outer garment which when it is cold we put it on, and when it is warm we take it off. Our faith must be an integral part of ourselves. We do not become Christians of convenience. We become Christians because we desire to be one with Christ. Being one with Christ means living our Christian life all the time. Commitment to be a Christian means, “Keeping vigil,” and waiting for Christ to come and take us to our heavenly home. If we are not committed, then we are not waiting for Christ to take us to our heavenly home. It means that we are not keeping vigil. Christ will come at a time when we are not expecting, and we might miss one time opportunity. Keeping vigil is a sign that we are faithful to Lord. Keeping vigil is carrying out the will of the Lord in our daily lives.  Jesus gives us an example of a servant who is faithful to the work that he is entrusted with (Luke 12:32-48). Likewise, our vigilance is to remain faithful to our Christian commitments at all times. We keep vigil by having an active, living faith, through love of God, and love of neighbor, prayer life, and total dependence on God.