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  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Aug. 11, 2013

By Sharon K. Perkins
Catholic News Service

August 11, Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C. Readings:

1) Wisdom 18:6-9

Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-22

2) Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 or Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-12

Gospel: Luke 12:32-48 or Luke 12:35-40

A few years ago, a friend of mine and her husband learned that she was unable to bear children and decided to adopt. They completed the application and screening process and were prepared for a long wait, based on what they had heard about other adoption experiences.

Imagine their shock when they received a call from the agency a few days later, announcing that a baby girl awaited them.

Although she knew that they had been approved and that a child would surely be coming, my friend had almost nothing prepared -- no baby clothes, no crib, no diapers or formula. She thought she had plenty of time to set up a nursery and decorate it, time for her friends to host a baby shower and for a little bit of a breather between the application process and a newborn. Instead, she was caught by surprise.

Throughout history, there have been numerous predictions of the "end of the world," most recently in December 2012, linking the event to the Mayan calendar. Many other doomsday predictions have been based on interpretations of apocalyptic passages of Scripture. They've all proven false.

Nevertheless, today's readings remind us that according to the biblical pattern of events, God always fulfills his promises to his people -- even if that fulfillment is a long time coming. Faith, "the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen," is not simply wishful thinking or passive waiting. As demonstrated by Abraham, and later the exiled children of Israel, faith is prayerful preparation for what surely will come to pass.

Given the number of false predictions of Christ's return, we can easily allow ourselves to live as though we have all the time in the world. We can deceive ourselves into existing for our own concerns and nothing more.

But Jesus' message to his disciples is clear: He will return to each of us, whether in the hour of death or in another unexpected manner, and we are not to let his delay or the unbelief of naysayers lull us into complacency. We who have been baptized and who are given his body and blood as sustenance have been given much -- and much will be required of us. It's time to get ready.


When have you neglected to prepare for something because you assumed you had more time? What sort of preparation do you think the Lord is requiring of you?


"You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come." -- Luke 12:40


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