Be Ready and Prepared

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The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Lino Nicasio SVD — The National Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus, Manila

1st Sunday of Advent / A

We are grateful to have government agencies like PAGASA to warn us about coming typhoons, flooding, and possible landslides. This way people are informed well in advance so that they may take the necessary preparations and precautions. However, some disregard such warnings, sometimes scoffing: “Hello, don’t you see the clear blue sky? What typhoon are you talking about? I’m not leaving; I’m staying right here to show you how wrong you are about your stupid predictions. Then it happens . . .

The above illustration mirrors what Jesus recounts about Noah and the Flood. People saw what Noah was doing, and no doubt they were given an explanation. But did they listen, did they care? Not a bit; they just went on with business as usual until it happened. Now the warning is given to us: Be watchful and stay awake because the Lord, Supreme Judge of all, is coming on a day we don’t know. Thus it would be wise to prepare for his coming. How? Through repentance / sacramental confession, to begin with, followed by a new way of life centered on God and service to others, with special care to avoid sin and the near occasions of sin.

There are communities living near rivers or mountainsides who at all times have their stuff ready for instant evacuation in case a need arises. They have learned to be prepared and ready at all times for the coming of typhoons, floods, and landslides. Should we not apply such wisdom regarding the unknown time and day of the Lord’s coming? The people of the Flood surely regretted having disregarded Noah’s warning as they perished. Now Jesus himself warns us to be ready and prepared at all times for his “surprise return.” Are we going to risk it all by not preparing, or gain it all by being ready to welcome the Lord? Are we going to be people of the Flood or the people of the Lord? We better decide before it is too late . . .

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