Discover more from Missio Dei
Gospel Reflection for October 24, 2023
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master's return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed 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.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants."
A lot of the writing and teaching I do is directed toward the “Prepper” community. That statement may seem an odd way to start today’s Gospel Reflection, but it does relate. You see, Preppers are generally very normal, rational people, not the “zombie apocalypse”, militia, hiding in the woods and armed to the teeth types portrayed on television. People prepare for a variety of reasons - some are concerned mainly about hurricanes and other natural disasters, others are concerned about economic disruptions, another pandemic, civil unrest, crime, a major war, etc. All a Prepper really is, is someone who thinks ahead and plans for what they consider to be a likely threat to everyday life. As an herbalist, gardener, forager and one who cooks from scratch, I help people prepare for the “what if” scenario of not being able to buy food and medicine from stores.
Today’s Gospel is about a different type of preparedness. As Christians, we must be spiritually prepared. We must prepare to face our daily spiritual battles and temptations. We must be prepared to explain and defend our faith. We must be prepared to help others. We must prepare for the moment of our death. And, we must be prepared for our Lord to come again.
Just as with Prepping, the essentials are learning and training. Through religious education, reading the Bible, religious books and listening to good homilies, we receive the necessary instruction. Through prayer, study and practicing virtue we train ourselves to be ready. Through the Sacraments we store up the “food for the journey.” We have a great community to help us, both in the Church Militant (Christians on earth) and the Church Triumphant (the saints in Heaven).
….And, much like Preppers, the media usually portrays us as oddballs…. but what they think doesn’t really matter. Just as preparing for a natural disaster by having fuel, food and water on hand is a very common-sense thing that any rational, intelligent person would do, if such people were awake to spiritual realities, they would be preparing with us. The end will come for each of us one day, usually unexpectedly, and we must be ready.
Judson Carroll is the author of several books, including his newest, Confirmation, an Autobiography of Faith. It is Available in paperback on Amazon:
His new podcast is The Uncensored Catholic https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-uncensored-catholic