Monday, October 19, 2015

Get ready? Be ready? Stay Ready?



Tomorrow's first reading is one of the more beautiful expressions of how important it is to realize who Christ was to the Jewish faith, the second Adam.  That's a powerful typology that we must not miss when exploring what it means to us as Children of the most high God.  To really understand this verse, we have to look at what happened in the Garden of Eden. 

If we look at Genesis starting with Chapter 2, we see that Adam was created to work and till the land.  Many scholars indicate that the wording used place Adam as it's guardian, it's protector.  He was supposed to keep bad things from happening, and to make sure good reigned supreme. Then comes the scene all of us are so familiar with.  The serpent appears. He tempts Eve.  Where was Adam during all this?  Right there by her side. He didn't stop her.  He didn't protect her.  He simply stood silently while mankind fell from the grace he had already experienced.

Think about the story here.  God was right there with him.  When the wind would blow He walked with Adam, face to face.  Adam had everything he needed.  He had all these beautiful animals, plenty of plants and seeds for food, this luscious garden filled with beautiful sights, and this gorgeous woman who he lived with and was supposed to protect.   All God asked was that they follow a simple rule.  Adam failed as the protector.  He didn't step up and say, wait.. God doesn't want that.. Eve don't listen to the serpent.  No, he simply watched her do it.. then partook of the forbidden fruit himself... then turned around and blamed God for the whole mess.  "It was the woman YOU gave me."

For just as through the disobedience of one man
the many were made sinners,
so, through the obedience of the one
the many will be made righteous.

You see, Adam's greatest sin, mankinds greatest sin, was really disobedience.  Jesus came into this world to restore us, through obedience.  Through that obedience we receive the righteousness we don't deserve.   That sets the stage for this interesting gospel:

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.”

What does Jesus mean?  For me he is talking about obedience.  He is talking about stewardship.  He is talking about living our lives in a way that says we believe what we profess to believe.  Stewardship is not just about tithing or giving a donation in the basket.  It's about every aspect of your life.  What you eat.  What you drink.  What you wear.   Where you go.  What you watch.  What you say.   In every action, we should show through what we do what we believe.  If we believe that this world belongs to God.. our actions should show that.   Do we?   Would all of us be environmentalists if we did?   Would we leave the lights on at night if we truly believed it all belonged to God?  Would we buy food based on taste alone? Or on both taste and sustainability?   Would we take our kids to see a movie that doesn't help them spiritually just because everyone else had seen it? 

What about you?  Are you prepared for him at any moment? Too many are out there looking for signs in the heavens, trying to predict the day he comes back... they want us to believe in a rapture that we need to be watching for.  They live in a panic, watching the news for this or that, stocking up to provide for those days they'll have to hide from governments etc... all of this belies what we should believe.  Rather we should get ready.  That is try to live a holy life, with frequent reception of the sacraments.  We should be ready.  Study to show ourselves approved.  Pray constantly, without ceasing.   Again, frequent reception of the sacraments!  Stay ready.  When we fall, and we will.. all of us fail at some point or another.. when we fail, we go back to Christ and start over.. we go to confession... did I mention frequent reception of the Sacraments? 

Just remember, not a single sparrow falls from the sky without God being aware of it... and you.. you are worth more than many sparrows.. you are worth dying for.  You are worth God coming down every single day to allow you to place him in your hands, receive him in your body, and be transformed through the Sacraments into the people he created us to be.   We have our chance to stand up to that tricky snake in the garden and say "hey back away from my spouse... I am a child of God and we won't let you trick us!"  Are you ready?

Get ready.  Be ready.  Stay ready.

In Christ, His servant, and yours,
Brian