Sunday, August 11, 2013

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, August 11, 2013 with Reflection

1ST READING - Wisdom 18:6-9
The night of the Passover was known beforehand to our fathers, that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith, they might have courage. Your people awaited the salvation of the just and the destruction of their foes. For when you punished our adversaries, in this you glorified us whom you had summoned. For in secret the holy children of the good were offering sacrifice and putting into effect with one accord the divine institution.
P S A L M - Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20, 22
R: Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be His own.
Exult, you just, in the Lord; praise from the upright is fitting.12 Blessed the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance. (R) 18 See, the eyes of the Lord are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, 19 to deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. (R) 20 Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help and our shield. 22 May your kindness, O Lord, be upon us who have put our hope in you. (R)
2ND READING - Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
Brothers and sisters: Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested. By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise; 10 for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and maker is God. 11 By faith he received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age — and Sarah herself was sterile — for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy. 12 So it was that there came forth from one man, himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore. 13 All these died in faith. They did not receive what had been promised but saw it and greeted it from afar and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth, 14 for those who speak thus show that they are seekinga homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 17 By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.” 19 He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, and he received Isaac back as a symbol.
Stay awake and be ready! For you do not know on what day the Son of Man will come. 

Luke 12:32-48 
32 Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. 34 For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be. 35 Gird your loins and light your lamps 36 and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. 37Blessed 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. 38 And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants. 39 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. 40 You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” 41 Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” 42 And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. 44Truly, I say to you, the master will put him in charge of all his property. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. 47 That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; 48 and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”


“Be prepared!” This attitude was made popular by the Boy Scouts. But it was a constant call of Jesus in the Gospels, including this Sunday’s Gospel. This prevalent theme during the Advent and Lenten seasons finds itself at a time way past Lent and way before Advent. The placing of the reading at this time only stresses the importance of the message. Vigilance is in season and out of season. Being a prepared Christian is a daily concern of every Christian.

       I would admit that it is hard to fathom the heart and enter through the mind of Jesus to know why His coming has an element of surprise. He used very vivid descriptions of this element: dressed for service, wide awake, be ready, and an unexpected hour, to name a few. All of these ask every Christian to take heed of His warning and not be found unprepared. But again, why? Would it not have been better if Jesus announced the exact time?
       When we were children, our father would always tell us to keep every part of the house clean. We would clean it in the morning before we go to school, and again when we arrived from school. My father would always inspect our work. However, at times, he would arrive earlier than usual and he would catch us still playing, with our house cleaning chore still undone. And we would be punished because of that. The saying “When the cat is away, the mouse will play!” seemed to apply perfectly to us at that time.

       What is usually missing is our sincere attitude to do the work. Our houses must be kept clean. Employees must do the work expected of them. I believe this is part of the reason of Jesus for not giving a definite time for His coming. People have a tendency to live according to the deadline and not according to the will of God. Cramming may even come in. In that case, establishing a good relationship with God is dictated by time and not by a true, authentic and real love for Him. The setup taken by Jesus challenges us to be real Christians all the time. Knowing that judgment may come anytime, living according to the will of God all the time is the proper and apt response. In other words, “Be prepared!” Fr. Benny Tuazon
REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you tend to “play when the cat is away”? How can you be more ready to face Jesus when He comes again?

Lord Jesus, may my love for You be in season and out of season.

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