Scripture this Sunday is a mixture hope and warning. Christ tells us not to be afraid, we’re part of his kingdom. Yet on the other hand he warns us not to be complacent, the Son of Man will come in Judgement. To be ready for his coming we must stay spiritually awake. Lets confess any ways we fail to do so..
Light is vital to us humans. Even our distant ancestors knew this. At Newgrange, at the heart of winter, the 21st of December, they’d a system rigged up so that the light came in and flooded the graves of those buried there. It was a sign of hope for the new year, of the return of light-filled summer, a sign to those lost in death’s darkness. Natural light signified spiritual light for the dead. We’ve had a good summer but from now on days get shorter. There is no endless summer, darkness always threatens to blot out the light. But total unrelieved darkness is unthinkable. In the dark we’re often afraid, sensing the link between darkness and evil. No one wants to live in darkness forever. When there is an electricity blackout there’s a crisis. Nowadays houses and driveways are radically lit up, as if to fend off all darkness.
Our Gospel today is about keeping God’s light blazing in our souls so that we’ll live in light forever. We’re told not to let our inner light go out, for the master may come at any time to require our soul of us. God forbid that any of us should lapse into a pagan darkness without Christ, though that’s an increasing risk today. Its easier now to let the lamp of faith and practice go out, to lapse into darkness, and so at last be excluded by the master from the banquet of eternal life. In that sense light has special meaning in Christian life. Christ is seen as the world’s light. When we’re baptized, we get a candle lit from the paschal candle. We’re told to keep the light of faith and good works burning, until we go out with the saints to meet Christ at last.
But there is always the temptation to go asleep spiritually, to let that light go out, to forget to nourish the soul in modern life’s hustle and bustle. We may have no time for God, prayer, or the sacraments as we rush around frantically making money and enjoying ourselves, as if this life was all there is. So the light of salvation in us can flicker and grow dim. There is even the danger that, through lack of the oil of practice and good works, it may go out altogether, quenched by the distractions and secularist trends of the modern world. So that when the lord comes at the end of time he wont recognize us. Our relationship with him will have gone out like the lamps of the watchmen who fell asleep while waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast. Jesus tells disciples to stand ready, for the Son of Man may come at any time. That’s true of death or on the last day. We know not the day nor the hour. As Jesus says, we don’t want to share the fate of the unfaithful. We’re given much, much will be expected, lets not become complacent about salvation.
Its easier to do so now, when fewer people are faithful in carrying out their religious duties. Its easy to fall back into the sleep of spiritual death which Christ labored and died to deliver us from, the darkness of sin, the soul sickness of indifference. Yet its urgent that we don’t do so. For in today’s gospel were told that God may at any time to require our soul of us. Its vital for us Christians not to let the light we received go out, but like the wise saints to be ready for Christ when he comes to lead the just into the banquet of eternal life. For all else fades and leaves us empty at last, but Christ is lord of light, truth, goodness, and happiness forever and ever, amen.
So as God’s servants, keeping the light of faith alive through all the phases of life’s night watch, lets profess our faith..
Prayers of the Faithful
And as God’s faithful servants lets pray for all we need..
For our Holy Father that his faith and energy may not fail him but that he may continue to lead all people to Christ’s dawning light amid the difficult night watches of the modern world..
For civil leaders that they may not promote a lapse into pagan darkness, but help the church in its mission of saving light..
For our young people that they may keep the light of faith burning brightly in their hearts within his holy church, and so be ready to go out to meet him with all the saints when he comes, their souls aglow with the saving light of their eternal Lord..
For ourselves in our work places, communities, and homes that we may keep the light of Christ alive and pass it on to our children for their enduring welfare, the salvation of their eternal souls.
For the sick, the aged, the lonely and the poor, through our caring ministry God’s light may shine in their lives..
The apostle’s failure to watch with Christ is a warning for us. In Gethsemane when Christ wanted their support they slept. Three times he came to them for help and found them asleep. Lets not be so worn out by life’s cares so as to neglect the Lord’s service. Lets rise faithfully each Sunday to come, listen to his word, and receive His body. For the Eucharist is our life; Christ say he who eats his flesh and drinks his blood has eternal life and he will raise him up on the last day. Imagine that, we’re already part of eternal life through regular Sunday Eucharist, sure to flower into glory at last. This banquet of light prepares us for the final banquet. Lets ask Mary to keep as part of a eucharistic faithful walking in light to the end of time..Hail Mary