Word Alive by Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD
August 11, 2019 /19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
One day, a father bought lotto tickets on his way home and distributed them to his family members, including their lolo (grandfather).
When the winning numbers were published the next day, lo and behold, the ticket given to the grandfather won the jackpot prize of P20 million.
The son was afraid to break the news to him because his weak heart may not withstand the excitement. So, he decided to invite a young priest-friend to carefully do it, which the priest readily obliged, thinking of the “balato” (tip).
In the course of the conversation, the young priest said, “By the way, lolo, supposing you won the lotto jackpot of P20 million, what will you do with it?”
“That’s a big amount, Father,” he replied. “Well, I’ll give P10 million to my grandchildren…and donate P10 million to you and the church!”
Stunned and overjoyed by such a huge amount, the priest collapsed and died of heart attack! (To think it was the old man who had a weak heart!).
That amusing story may well illustrate how unexpected death can happen. Think, too, of numerous unpredictable killings and death from calamities and various accidents. Hence, in this 19th Sunday of the year, the Lord reminds us to be “wide awake”, vigilant and prepared. “Be on guard,” Jesus says, “the Son of Man will come when you least expect him.” (Lk 12,40).
* * *
Preparedness is the beginning of true wisdom. “It will go well with those servants whom the Master finds watching on his return,” Jesus asserts.
Living wisely is looking ahead. “Living wisely” means not only being concerned with our day-to-day needs but having an eye on our ultimate end in this world.
How is this “preparation” to be done? Once there was an aging wealthy man who lived alone and began to make preparation for his death. He bought a lot in a memorial garden and feeling that the end was near, he executed his last will and testament. Then he invited his relatives to come and see him. After a hearty meal, the kindly man began to dispense his valuables and personal effects. A few days after, he died.
The man did right in making preparation but it was for his body only and none for his soul.
* * *
Spiritual preparedness is constant inner renewal and, that is, following God’s will as summed up in the 10 Commandments, “honor your father and mother, do not kill, do not steal, do not commit adultery,” and so on. But that is not enough. You must do good works, too. Jesus constantly stressed this teaching of love, mercy and compassion in words and action.
* * *
In his parable of the Last Judgment, he said that the requirement to enter the Kingdom of heaven is doing good works: “When I was hungry, you gave me to eat, thirsty and gave me to drink; sick and you visited me… (Read Matthew 25,34-36).
Preparedness means also that we are not living in sin and unrepented wrongdoings
Finally, Jesus exhorts us to eat the “food of eternal life”, saying: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood will have eternal life and I will raise him up on the last day.”
ASK YOURSELF: While living in this world, am I doing faithfully and honestly the task God has given me? Is my earthly life characterized by acts of charity? Let’s live in such a way that when the inevitable end comes, the Master will find us ready to meet him.
Christ assures us: “Happy are those (faithful) servants whose master finds awake and ready when he returns” (Lk 12,37).
JUDGMENT DAY. A man says: “What scares me is when God says to Mother Teresa on Judgment Day, ‘Teresa, you should have done more good works.’
And there I am–right behind her!”