19th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Waiting and Praying

07-31-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Bing Colasito

On many occasions in the Gospel, the Lord teaches His disciples about vigilance. For the coming of God or against thieves or those who want to harm God’s people. But this watchfulness should be translated into one’s spirit of prayer and the constancy of one’s faith.

Jesus uses two (2) metaphors to illustrate vigilance: Being girded to serve and having a readylighted lamp while waiting. The Jews customary tuck their garments into their belt when they are going to do some work; or going on a journey; so that gird one’s loin shows readiness or preparedness for any task. The lighted lamp is necessary for one on guard duty or waiting for their master.

In the ministry, we meet a lot of people. It is good when we encounter people; who are ready to gird their loins and always have their lamps burning. They are disciples who are ready and willing to serve the Lord; where they are needed. People; who dressed for service, whose priority is to help in any way possible. In this context, readiness also means having a lighted lamp.

Are we ready to accept the Word of God into our lives? The Lord invites us in the Gospel to be watchful all the time. He returns at the end of time, and His glory will reign forever. When Jesus left the first time, many of the disciples believed that His second coming was imminent.In my father’s house, there are many dwelling places. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am, you also may be. (Jn. 14: 2,3) Jesus went to the Father to prepare a place for them in heaven, and He would come back any time to get them.

The sad part of Jewish history is that they had been preparing for the coming of the Messiah, but when Jesus came, they did not recognize Him and were not ready to accept Him. Their preconceived ideas about the Messiah blinded them to the Son of God, Jesus Christ. They were expectant, but they were not discerning in their waiting. Most of them are closed to certain beliefs of the Law are ritually clean but spiritually corrupt. They were not wearing the clothes of forgiveness and mercy and were selfrighteous. Their lamps are unlit. The acknowledged guardians of the Law or Scriptures did not recognize Christ. The Son of God came, and thehoi polloi (the people) embraced Him,but those who were supposed to welcome Him, the religious elites rejected Him.

Jesus tells His disciples to be watchful and vigilant,“like servants who await their Master’s return from a wedding, ready to open when He comes and knocks.” We live in a world full of many distractions and attractions, possessions, power, and pleasures, be careful not to stray focus on what is essential, heavenly treasures. Faith gives us confidence and courage in the face of the many distractions. Let go and let God. God reminds us not to seek security on worldly things or accomplishments and stop our desire to control. Instead, believe, trust, surrender, hope, and obey His holy Will.