First Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11
Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, “Peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober. For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up, as indeed you do.
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 27:1, 4, 13-14
I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom should I be afraid? One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple. I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
Gospel: Luke 4:31-37
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
"The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night."
Always be ready to go.
Marantha . . . Come, oh Lord. I pray it some days when the going is very bad—these days of young girls being trafficked and shootings becoming all too commonplace and baby organs being sold and evil overtaking nearly every last shred of dignity left in our culture. Maranatha, I can't help but cry out—Jesus, come back and save us from this mess that seems to grow and grow.
I pray for Him to come back but is my heart even prepared for Him to do so? I try to remember this as often as I can, that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night; Jesus could return to us here at a moment's notice. It is because we are women of faith that we know and believe this—and so we pursue holiness, and that day will not surprise us, catch us off guard, or come completely unexpected. We know that Jesus will return or take us home and look at how well we loved. I hope to be welcomed into the Heavenly Kingdom . . . but am I living a life worthy of entrance? Do I live in a state of grace by frequenting Reconciliation, receive the Eucharist as often as I possibly can? Do I continually pursue my King, so that if the day of the Lord comes tomorrow, I will be received with great joy and love for all eternity?
As Saint Paul wrote, we are daughters of light and daughters of the day—if you are here, reading and joining with us in this community, we are on the path toward Christ. There is an incalculable amount of ways each of us found our way to this path, but we are on it, and we are women well aware that this pursuit of holiness, this striving to love as Christ loved and give as Christ gave—this is what matters. This is what will remain when the day of the Lord comes.
Your pursuit of holiness is what will stand to be counted on the day you meet Christ.
And so I ask you . . . if the day of the Lord were to come tomorrow . . . are you ready to meet Him?
What area in your life would you scramble to fix or put together if you were told tomorrow was the day of the Lord's return? Would you get to Reconciliation, repair that relationship, or try to be more generous? Make an attempt to start that today. May we always be ready and alert for that day to come.
Emily Wilson planned her whole life to become a sports reporter but turned out to be a Catholic musician and speaker at the hand of God. She lives out of her suitcase and travels across the world speaking to people of all ages. The heart of her ministry is offering encouragement to teen girls in search of their true identity, and she loves ever second of it. You can find out more about her here.