St. Sharbel Shrine Blessing
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 7, 2022
The general theme of the last half of chapter 12 of Luke’s gospel is “be prepared”: be prepared for the coming of Jesus Christ. His coming can be understood in several senses.
First, Jesus was speaking about His second coming at the end of time. In the early Church, there were some who expected that His second coming would occur soon, within their lifetimes. When that did not occur, they became confused or discouraged. Hence the warning in today’s reading: do not grow slack even if Jesus does not come as soon as you expected. This also is a message for us: even if we have no reason to believe that the second coming will occur within our life time, we need to be no less vigilant.
Second, the words of Jesus can be extended to refer to His coming in various ways into our lives. We have all, in one way or another, experienced His transforming presence and power in our lives. Often he came to us when we were least expecting Him. We need a firm faith that He can come again to us in just as unexpected a manner, bringing us the grace and healing we need. For our part, we must be ready for His coming. We should not delay repenting from our sins until next month or even tomorrow; we should prepare ourselves now for His coming, and be continually prepared for Him to come at any moment.
Nothing Compares to Being There
“I have greatly desired to eat this Supper with you.” cf. Luke 22:15
All of us know instinctively that nothing compares to “being there” in person. Whether it’s being at a friend’s wedding, sitting down to have a heart-to-heart conversation, comforting a family member while she is grieving or watching as your baby takes his first steps, we all know that being physically present makes all the difference. The same logic applies to our life as Catholics. Especially when it comes to the Mass, truly, nothing compares to being there.