Be Faithful and Wise

PHARISEE
August 26, 2020
MONICA PASSING ON
August 27, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: Be Faithful and Wise
 
As a Jesuit priest, I am used to presiding wake masses as part of my regular routine. But during the pandemic, I am really struck by the sheer number of requests for prayers and masses for the dead. Our health crisis today compels us to face the reality of death as part of our life. Death is something that we tend to ignore, especially when we are healthy, wealthy, busy, powerful, and young. But today, with the countless news of dying people because of COVID, we feel the necessity to face the reality of death.
 
Our gospel today is about the second coming of Jesus and exhorts us to be watchful. Nobody knows the exact time, not even the angels and the Lord Himself, but God alone. The gospel warns us not to ignore this reality. For many of us, death is a stranger. We are not comfortable talking about it. But for those people who are loving, merciful, and generous, death is not an enemy but a friend.
 
Our gospel today is an invitation for us to stretch our perspective or vision, to have a LONGER VIEW OF LIFE. Many of us are wise in life by planning everything including his retirement years or old age. They are wise to secure themselves by amassing wealth and properties. Yet, they are not wiser enough to secure themselves in the next life. We forget! Our life does not end in this world, there is life after death! Are you secured in the next life? Are you ready to face death now? Have you realized that all our earthly wealth will not guarantee us eternal life?
 
Death is imminent and unavoidable. We need to befriend death. It is like a thief in the evening that will come to us without warning (Matthew 24:43). Thus, we need to be more FAITHFUL AND WISE. We need to have a LONGER VIEW OF LIFE … to think of securing ourselves in eternal life.
 
The gospel is telling us to prepare ourselves, but it is not telling us how? In the next chapter, Matthew tells us how by telling two relevant stories: the parable of the talent (Matthew 25:14-30) and the last judgment (Matthew 25:31-46).
 
In this reading, the Lord tells us three sins of the servant while waiting for the master’s arrival. We are warned not to commit the same mistake. Learn from the servant’s irresponsibility, lack of right judgment, and foresight.
 
1. Mismanagement of his master’s business and properties. We are invited to be good stewards of God’s property. Our time, treasure, and talents should be disposed of and used properly. Blessings are meant to be shared, not kept. Be generous to others.
 
2. Maltreatment of his co-workers. We are not masters but slaves. Something that we tend to forget when we are in a position of authority or power. Powers are given to us to serve people, not to abuse them for our own benefit.
 
3. Excessive enjoyment of the pleasures of the world. This is his inordinate attachment to the pleasures of the world and his insensitivity to the needs of others and to the cry of the poor.
 
Our Lord is inviting us to be MORE VIGILANT IN PREPARING FOR HIS COMING. He simply wants us to be more faithful and wise in our words and actions, in our discernment and decision making, in knowing our priorities, and in searching for the true treasures that will last forever. Wise people seek lasting things.
 
If death will come to you now, are you ready? Why? If Jesus will tell you that He will come next month, what are you going to do? Name three things that you will prioritize.
 
When someone faces death, he realizes what counts most in the next life. Don’t be ignorant, complacent, and lazy. The good news is, you still have time! You have all the opportunity to correct your mistake and be wiser to think of the next life.
 
– Pitik-Bulag
 
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August 27, 2020 – Thursday
Gospel Reading: Matthew 24: 42-51

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