When I was a child, we took a vacation to Cape Cod and stayed in an old house right on the beach.
My favorite spot was a tiny attic on the top floor that featured a round window overlooking the ocean. The owners of the house told us it was there so that the family could watch for returning ships. From the highest spot in the house, they could look out as far as possible and try to spot the tip of the mast on the horizon, and then have as much time as possible to prepare for the return home of husband or father or sons after weeks or months at sea.
The family that lived in that home often comes to my mind as I remind my husband to text me with the exact time his GPS says he’ll be home so I can throw dinner together at the last possible minute.
For all the benefits of modern technology, it has put us out of touch with the concept of waiting for the unknown.
But we are, each of us, waiting. We know that, one day, we will come face to face with Jesus, either at our deaths or at the Second Coming. We can be like that Cape Cod family, watchfully waiting, prepared, lamps lit, loins girded. Or we can be like me when I forgot to check my texts and haven’t even started dinner, sitting in the dark, loins in the wind. Not as good a plan.
It’s easy to put off being prepared for the end of times, or to ignore it completely, especially when we consider all our daily obligations and responsibilities. But that won’t stop it from coming. Jesus tells us that in today's Gospel, Luke 12:35-38.
Fortunately, the Church gives us the means to be prepared at a moment’s notice to meet our maker. Frequent recourse to the Sacrament of Confession and reception of the Holy Eucharist will light our lamps and gird our loins and, whatever else we have going, we will be prepared for that most important thing.
Can't receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament physically? Make a spiritual communion. More on how to do so here.
Kendra Tierney is a forty-three-year-old mother of ten and wife of one living in and working on a big old fixer-upper house in Los Angeles. She's a homeschooler and a regular schooler and is relishing the new freedom from carpooling that's come with a sixteen-year-old in the house. Her new book, The Catholic All Year Compendium, Liturgical Living for Real Life, is here. You can find her first book, A Little Book About Confession, here, her blog here, and her word art here. She is a contributing author to our Works of Mercy Study: Misericordia and our Advent devotional book, All the Generations.