Year C, the Nineteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Readings at Mass.
Wisdom 18:6-9. Hebrews 11:1-2,8-19. Luke 12:32-48.
The first two of today’s three readings speak of the bold faith of the ancestors of God’s people— faith that God would bring about great blessings for their family tree in time to come.
The old promise of those blessings echoed in today’s Cóllect prayer that we offered right before we sat for the readings.
... Father,bring, we pray, to perfection in our heartsthe spirit of adoption as your sons and daughters,that we may merit to enter into the inheritancewhich you have promised.
And then in today’s Gospel, Christ promises that the gift of his Father’s kingdom is for those who keep watch to be worthy of it, since Christ’s return will break in on us without warning.
You and I, with the whole human race, live between the first coming of Christ and his second coming.
Both comings of Christ touch our freedom that stretches between two realities.
The one reality is the original sin of humankind.
The other is the free offer God makes to us in Christ.
God adopted us in Baptism, freely giving us an entitled share in the kingdom of heaven.
Because of Baptism, we no longer bear the guilt of original sin.
God the Father has washed it from us with the Baptismal waters of grace and the Spirit that bear the might and truth of the death and resurrection of his Son.
Although the GUILT of original sin is no longer ours, we are still weak and can still turn away from God with other sins.
Nonetheless, GOD has freed us to be free IN God and free FOR God.
Freedom always brings with it RESPONSIBILITY.
Freedom is ALIVE not in doing merely what we LIKE, but in doing GOOD.
IF freedom meant it were RIGHT for us to do WHATEVER we LIKED, then we would have to accept ANY sin that OTHERS might commit against US in THEIR freedom to do what THEY liked.
On the contrary, TRUE freedom brings with it MORAL RESPONSIBILITY.
Freedom LIVES and GROWS in choosing to do GOOD.
The everlasting fullness of our freedom is in Christ the master, who says in today’s Gospel:
Blessed are those servantswhom 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.
In that outcome, Christ the master will be like fathers and mothers who serve and feed the children they have gladly adopted.
The goodness of Christ is the fulfillment, the perfection, the pattern, and the goal of our human freedom.
To seek and follow CHRIST is to seek and follow FREEDOM.
He tells us in his Gospel today:
Gird your loins and light your lampsand be like servants who await their master’s return...ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Waiting for Christ in this way means to be mindful in taking responsibility for every free choice we make in how we live and how we think.
Waiting for the Lord is also a way of prayer.
To wait in prayer is to be aware that something needed and good is missing, and that it comes in the person of the Lord.
Sincere prayer also helps and teaches us to live and grow in freedom.
In his Gospel, Christ asks, calls, and bids us be on the lookout for him, to watch for him, to stay awake for him, to hunt and wish for him.
He has sworn that he is always with us and will come back one day.
He is really with us in his Eucharistic Body and Blood.
But his Eucharistic Body and Blood also feed us the mystery of his Second Coming.
Blessed are those servantswhom 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.
In his Eucharistic Body and Blood, Christ the master becomes the servant of his servants.
In his Eucharist, even though he comes among us as our servant, he remains both the standard and the judge of our freedom.
As the standard of our freedom, Christ freely hands himself over in his Eucharistic Body and Blood as food and drink for our welfare.
In doing so, he is also already our judge, for he measures us by what we freely dare to receive.
As he says in today’s Gospel: Much will be required of the person entrusted with much....
When we receive him in his Eucharist, we hand ourselves over to his judgment.
And yet our God and Judge, Almighty-in-His-Love, Innocent and Pure, chose to take a place on earth among the guilty and condemned.
He freely took our guilt upon himself, and freely chose to be condemned as a sinner among us sinners.
The master freely chose to be nailed to a cross of deadly punishment.
God freely chose to die among us guilty sinners.
That is the one who comes as Judge in his Eucharist.
In his Eucharistic Body and Blood, our Judge offers us a covenant ... for the forgiveness of sins, but also a covenant of being WITH US EVEN UNTO DEATH.
He was OBEDIENT to being God-with-us EVEN UNTO DEATH.
And then his RESURRECTION is our human body and soul FREE AND OBEDIENT in the LIFE and GLORY of God.
To say it again: our RESURRECTION is our human body and soul FREE AND OBEDIENT in the LIFE and GLORY of God.
Christ the Son in his Obedient Body and Blood lets us share in his freedom and glory as sons and daughters of his Father.
Obedience, forgiveness, life, freedom, and glory are in his Body and Blood that call us to turn away from sin and to rise with Christ in his goodness.
Gird your loins and light your lampsand be like servants who await their master’s return...ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.Blessed are those servantswhom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.