Are You Ready? The question in the title sounds a bit like something we used to say as children, playing “hide & seek.” But more to the point, today’s Gospel reminds me of the time when Jesus asked Peter “do you love me,” in John 21:15-25. In today’s vernacular, the word love is often so used and abused that it has lost much of its importance and impact.
Never the less, it’s not uncommon for Catholics to be asked by our evangelical Christian friends; “are you saved?” Often they’ll ask a follow on the question; “do you love Jesus.” Both are good questions that every Catholic should be asking themselves, especially in light of today’s gospel reading. You see, being “saved,” contrary to what some might tell you, is not as simple as saying a certain prayer.
Today’s Gospel admonishes us to be READY… In saying this, Our Lord was speaking to his disciples, those who believed and were following him. Surely, if anyone had their salvation secure, it would have been this bunch?
Somehow, Love is the key to this whole “salvation” thing. We read in 1 John 4:7-8 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love..” Additionally, Romans 8:28 gives us the assurance that ALL THINGS will be okay, if we simply “love God, and are called according to His purposes.
What does this mean? Our well-meaning Protestant friends assure us that “there is nothing we can do to merit or earn salvation,” is that 100% accurate? According to Jesus in today’s Gospel, we must be vigilant, we must be “watchful,” and we MUST be “ready.” The Catholic Church has consistently taught that we must be active participants in our own salvation, not by following the ancient Mosaic laws, but by “doing the will of the Father.”
Jesus himself is pretty clear in Matthew 7:21-23
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
Beware, my brothers and sisters, there are wolves in many churches wearing robes of authority that are teaching false gospel messages designed to tickle the ears of their unwary sheep. The Apostle Paul warned the Ephesians of this error, basically telling them it was time to grow up spiritually and “no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.
The above warning is resounding loudly in our present time. On one side, Catholics are being confronted by the false doctrines of reformation theology, and on the other, we have the resounding cacophony of liberalism demanding that the church must change to meet public pressure and PC demands.
Are you ready? Have you followed the lord through the waters of baptism, have you confirmed your faith in the sacraments? If so, GREAT. But, that’s not the end of the story. An authentic Catholic/Christian faith demands that we keep on keeping on. We MUST be about the Father’s business. We must DO something, we must BE something radically different than what society is demanding.
Are you accepting PC teachings these days, supporting a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion? Do you follow Pope Francis’s lead in saying “who am I to judge” when it comes to issues of LGBTQ sexual morality? As Christians, we are responsible for our own actions, but we (especially clergy) are also held accountable for what we teach others.
Be on guard my brothers and sisters. Don’t let thieves and robbers steal away your very soul — BE READY.
Gospel Reading — Luke 12:35–40
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.”