Jesus said to his disciples: Gird your loins and light your lamps.
These are stirring words, a wake-up call. We are told that we must be ready to answer the knock on our door from the Lord to each of us. They are a reminder that the Lord is seeking us, something that is comforting and, at the same time, scary.
It’s obvious that we live in difficult times, especially since most seem to consider that the Church is irrelevant to them and to what is going on. In many ways society and culture, here in Ireland at least, is not recognisable as Christian in any meaningful way.
We can blame the materialism of a now wealthy society – our country heads some lists as to the wealthiest countries in the world; we are told that religion is a private matter, and a pretty widespread amnesia about our Christian roots is promoted by our media and politicians. Very few of us seem capable of standing up to the challenges posed by secularism.
I suppose that we have only ourselves to blame. We let it happen.
As I write these words, I am accompanying the resignation saga of Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister. His own political colleagues considered him too sleazy to continue leading them. You cannot help but sense the hypocrisy of the whole drama. They have only themselves to blame. However, they are doing something.
The Gospel message continues to tell us to be doing something – to be ready and prepared, else the house, our house, our Church, will be broken into. Alarmist? Some might think so, but these are the words of Christ, and we can see with our own eyes what is happening around us.
“You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
The gospel is not just a reminder to act, but also a warning of the dangers of not acting on our faith. Much has been entrusted to us. For those who turn to Jesus Christ there truly is no need to be afraid. He is with us. But He expects us to gird our loins!