2cornucopias

Calibrating Your Life Successfully

In 07 Observations on 2016/10/07 at 12:00 AM

I wear this Fitbit and it tells me how many steps I take in a day. It also tells me how many flights of steps I take and how many calories I burn in a day and my heart rate. It also tells me about how I slept during the night. How long, was it restless, how many times did I wake up. A friend asked me if it showed that I had problems sleeping. I told him that I don’t have a problem sleeping. I have problems waking up.

When I first wake up I’m usually groggy and don’t really have my wits about me. I think usually when we wake up it’s pretty slow and we want to go back to sleep. Other times we awaken very quickly and alert. For me this was when I had teenagers in the house and the phone rang at 12:30 and the first words I heard were “I’m OK but”.

Today’s readings really are that call in the night that should wake us up with a start and have us be completely alert. This is no time to be groggy.

The reading starts with a parable about a man who will be fired because he doesn’t do his job well. He is alert and knows that his future is in doubt. He isn’t sure how he’ll take care of himself after he loses his job. He comes up with a clever but dishonest scheme to help his future.

He reduces the amount that people owe his boss. His thinking is that if he gives them a break, they’ll look out for him when he’s out of work. This is clever in that he has devised a way to provide for himself, but it’s dishonest in that he’s giving away what belongs to his boss. No wonder he was being fired.

Here’s the odd part. The boss commended that dishonest steward for acting to secure his own future. Is this reading saying that it’s OK to do something that’s wrong and dishonest to provide for ourselves? Of course not. We always know that you can’t do something evil even if it’s for a good end.

So what’s the point of commending this servant? This man saw that his future well being was in danger. If he did nothing he would be in trouble. This was his 12:30 phone call. He’s alert and has all his wits about him.

The parable goes on to say that the children of this world (like the servant) are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light (hopefully that’s us). This is our 12:30 phone call.

Are we thinking about our future or do we just give a poor effort like the servant did in his job? Of course we’re talking about our eternal future. Are we going through the motions just hoping that the worst won’t happen?

The reading goes on to say that you can’t serve both God and money. This is telling us that we should use the same kind of practical wisdom to ensure our eternal future as we would in matters of our earthly future. Look at the efforts we usually put into our earthly affairs. We prepare for retirement. We monitor how much money we spend to make sure that it fits with our income. We research cars to make sure that we get a good one. These are efforts that we all make to hopefully not wind up in a bad position. I’m not saying that we’re not supposed to deal with things in this world because that is where we live now. But it’s not where we will live forever.

How can we be alert about our eternal future? The first is to really come to grips with the reality that we have an eternal future. It’s easy for us to put off what is unseen. If you have a disease it’s easy to ignore it until the symptoms let you know that this is reality. Then it has your attention. All of us have an eternal future that is beyond our time on this earth. Even if we don’t see the symptoms of that reality some day it will have our attention.

The second is to provide for that future. The servant in the gospel didn’t do what was needed and his future was in doubt. How do we provide for our future? First it’s to come to a real understanding that God is God and we are his creation. This is the proper order and we need to know that God greatly desires that our eternal future will be with him. He has paved the way.

Will we spend the time knowing, loving, and serving the Lord? Will we be alert and not get so caught up in the affairs of our present life here and now?

Here are some practical tips. Pray every day even if only for a few minutes and get a good habit going. You can use regular prayers like in this small book or you can simply have a conversation with God. If you miss a day or two don’t be defeated just start again.

Try reading the scriptures. I would suggest the readings for each day’s Mass as they don’t take very long and are easily available on the internet or in a daily missal like this one. When we read scripture we’ll know more about God and that’s how we grow any relationship.

Brothers and Sisters, it’s 12:30 and the phone is ringing. Let’s be alert and know that we have an eternal future. God greatly desires that we spend eternity with him. Let’s not be like the servant was in the beginning not doing what he was supposed to. Let’s be like the servant when he realized his future could be in jeopardy and he took the steps to have a future that he would want and not be in torment.

You and I are called to be saints spending all of the ages with God. Let’s not be groggy but alert and prepare to be saints. Let’s be in that number when the saints go marching in.

Deacon Jack Staub

St. Matthew Catholic Church

Charlotte, NC

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