Monday after the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: St. Matthew 24:29-51 (NKJV)
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ 49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51 and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Today’s reading has but one message: “be ready.” After a lengthy description of the impending Judgment that would scare even the most complacent reader, we’re forced to ask: “What then shall we do?” Jesus tells us: “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.”
As Jesus addresses His disciples in this passage, there is no doubt He’s giving emphasis to their calling in the Holy Ministry. Their responsibility over souls is paramount as they carry on the work the Lord has given them. No less will be the task of the pastors who follow them to the close of the age. It should be no surprise that Jesus is simply telling them, and us, to be faithful.
But Jesus’ advice about our preparation for the Last Days is not a “last-ditch effort” to be employed when times get “really bad.” Rather, we’re to treat all days the same. We’re to be doing what we always should have been doing. Even if we did know when Jesus would return, that shouldn’t change our words or deeds one bit. Each and every day is critical in the life of the Christian, as souls are swayed one way or another by what we say and do.
Prayer: May God grant us the courage and wisdom to be His faithful servants each and every day in both word and deed. Amen.