19TH SUNDAY:  LUKE 12: 32-48

In the parable of the watchful servant, Jesus encourages His disciples to
be vigilant and ready for action as they wait for the coming of the
Master.  Being watchful and being vigilant for the Master’s return is
simply a matter of loving our daily lives.  If we are not watchful and
vigilant if we are careless in fulfilling our daily tasks, and if we are
not taking protections to know what is morally right and live accordingly,
then the thief of the devil will find an easy entrance into our hearts and
not only steal our treasures, but leave behind our lives in shambles.  The
battle and victory over the evil thief is possible only through our prayer
lives and intimate relationships with Jesus.  The Holy Spirit constantly
seeks to awaken us to keep watch, to do what we are called to do with
love.  Let us totally surrender to the Holy Spirit and ask for the help and
guidance to lead us to God’s ways.

Let me share with you a story.  A group of wild geese were flying from
north to south before the winter.  One of the geese looked down and noticed
some geese were in a farm and they had plenty of grain to eat all the
time.  Life seemed relatively easy for them.  So, the goose flew down and
hung out with these geese until spring.  He enjoyed the free food, but he
decided he could rejoin his companions when they come back again going
north during the spring.  When spring came, the goose heard his friends
were coming back so he tried to fly up to join with them but he could not
fly up because he had grown a bit lazy and he was a few pounds heavier than
before.  Flying was difficult, so he decided to spend one more season on
the farm and rejoin with his friends during their next winter migration.
But he kept eating and became more lazy and simply lost his interest; he
became heavier and he could not join with his friends.

The moral message of the story is that if we are living any kind of easy
life, it does not last; it can create laziness and hurt our lives.  Our
lives are meant to be challenging, and we are meant to take risks; we need
to stay prepared, work hard, and not allow ourselves to lose the
disciplines we have learned. The goose that joined the farm lost his
strength, his independence, his creativity, his originality, and his
discipline because he was comfortable with free food and a lazy life!

During the last week’s World Youth Day celebrations in Poland, Pope Francis
spoke to the more than one million young people, “Take risks and do not
allow life’s obstacles to get into the way of encountering the true joy and
life that Jesus can give.  Do not be afraid to say, “Yes” to the Lord
with all your heart, to respond generously, and follow Jesus.   Don’t let your
soul grow numb, but aim for the goal of a beautiful love, which also
demands total sacrifice.”

Pope Francis continued his address by warning the pilgrims to not fall into
a “paralysis that comes from confusing happiness with a “sofa.”  The
“sofa happiness” that promises comfort, safety, and relaxation that makes young
men and women become “dull and drowsy.”  So we have to come out from the
“sofa happiness” and face the reality of our daily lives.   Before
concluding the Mass, the pope invited the young people to carry the
“spiritual breath of fresh air” back to your countries and communities
and “wherever God’s providence leads you.”

Our ultimate goal is to reach the heavenly kingdom, which is based on how
we live our lives here on earth.   Let us live each day as our last day and
live each day in a more meaningful and fruitful way, and totally
concentrate and focus on God.  Each day is a blessing!  Life is a beautiful
gift, and we are called to share the gift of life by loving and serving
others.   Let us learn to live our lives for eternity by choosing that
which is good here and now and doing what is right.  So, stay awake and be
ready!  For we do not know on what day the Son of Man will arrive!


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