20 October, Tuesday — On-Call Soldiers

Tuesday of Week 29 in Ordinary Time

Eph 2:12-22
Lk 12:36-38

“See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit.”

As I was reflecting on today’s readings, I felt a sense of having to be ready — just like a soldier at war. Sometimes, they sleep with their weapons. Someone’s always at watch. It also made me think of those people in civil defense – they have to be ready to be deployed within a very short period of time. I realized that I shouldn’t be surprised because it is the case — after all, we’re called soldiers for Christ; and we are all part of the Church Militant.

So what should we be ready for? Maybe for start, we could look at three things.

  1. We should be ready witnesses to our faith – whether to share it or defend it.

It’s not easy being religious in this time and age. And what’s even more difficult about being a Catholic is that currently, the doctrines which we have lived by for two thousand years are now  countercultural. It really is only a matter of time when we will get asked about our faith.

Why do Catholics worship Mary? Is God really present in the the Holy Eucharist? Why do you have to abstain from meat on a Friday? Why is the Church against contraception? What about the scandals where priests were involved? Are you sure you can be saved? Why do you need good works?

How many of these do you have an answer for? If you don’t have the answer to these, I would really encourage you to look up the answers. There are probably many Catholics who have left the faith because they didn’t know that the answer to these questions existed. It is true that the other denomiations seem to have a more supportive and welcoming community; but I can’t fathom how easy it would be for someone to leave the Catholic Church because of the attraction to the other communities, if they had known more about the Truths in the Catholic Church.

We’re also called to be witnesses of the Gospel. When people look at our lives, would they think about what makes our lives so attractive? Someone said that for some people, the only bible they would read is the witness of your life. Honestly, I don’t think I’m at this level yet, but I’m praying.

  • We should be ready to go to heaven, if not purgatory, any time God calls.

Though the just fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble from only one mishap. (Proverbs 24:16). In a day, a just man sins seven times. And yet, our confession lines are often short.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation not only absolves us from our sins, it also gives us the graces we need to resist temptations. It’s a Sacrament of great love. I really pray that all of us could prioritize having our sins forgiven.

  • We should be ready to receive God’s love.

The final point for this reflection is this — we should be ready for God to love us. While it’s true that many of us are still learning to love God, there are also many of us who need to learn how to be loved by God.

Quoting Venerable Fulton Sheen from the book ‘Three to Get Married’, “The paradox of love is that the human heart, wants an eternal and ecstatic love, and also reach a moment when it has too much love and wishes to be loved no longer.” Our God loved to the fullest. But maybe our hearts are not ready to receive this type of love. So we need to pray and we need to get ready because in God’s love, all become possible.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us be always ready to be sent, to live our lives ready to be called by you.  

Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for trusting us to be your soldiers. The fact that you have entrusted us with something so great shows how much you value us.

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