Being blindsided is no fun. Those unexpected surprises are particularly annoying when we feel someone should have warned us. “Please make sure you tell me about this next time” is a familiar refrain. When it comes to the questions about the afterlife, if we are blindsided we will have no one to blame but ourselves. Christ has given us more than adequate warning. Neither death nor his coming in glory to judge humanity should catch us off guard. The key to being prepare is to Watch and pray.
Imagine Jesus’ joy in welcoming one of his “good and faithful servants the priest into heaven. He said that he will sit us down and serve us dinner. That beautiful image reminds us that the hard work of being faithful will not lack its reward. More than anything, it points to Jesus’ gratitude: the Master becomes the servant for his loyal disciples. After all that the Lord has done for us, what else would we rather do than to give Christ the joy of our faithfulness?
In it for the Long Haul. Jesus talks about the master of the house possibly arriving at the “second or third watch of the night.” Being faithful isn’t a fling or a flash in the pan. We know that there will be “ups and downs,” moments of two steps forward and one back. Through it all we are called to persevere. Going the distance is not easy, but how beautiful it is! Saint Anthony of the desert gave us an indelible example of perseverance. May our own example bear witness to our desire to persevere.
Fr. Maroun El Kazzi