SERMON OF THE WEEK
February 3, 2013
Next Sunday is�"Aneedae Sunday." This is a day the members of the Church remember and pray for the dearly departed�loved ones who have departed from us.
From the beginning, Christians have prayed for the dead and have taken works of penance on behalf of their departed ones. The practice is still being continued. We pray for the faithful departed, those who have been baptized, for complete purification of the stains of sin before�they come into full union with God in Heaven. This Sunday the Church honors the memory of�the�departed and offer prayers for them so that the purified souls will be assured of God's grace in Heaven.
Gospel Reading:� The gospel reading for Sunday is from Luke 12:32-41.
"32 Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35 Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,
36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.
37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them�recline at the table and will come and wait on them.
38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.
39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will�come at an hour when you do not expect him.�
41 Peter asked, Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?
Jesus Christ's return is mentioned 318 times in the New Testament. In today's gospel, Jesus instructs his� followers to be ready�like a good waiter. Waiting is not the absence of doing anything constructive. Waiting is not a static state. It doesn't diminish us. It simply involves time and we don't know when our waiting will be over.
The three characteristics of "waiting" mentioned in today's gospel are:
1. Preparedness: If we prepare ourselves to meet someone today, we say, let's be dressed and ready. Let's be like people who wait for their guests. When they come and knock on our door, we can open the door. We are ready. We are prepared. Likewise, we should be ready to receive our Lord�when he arrives.
2. Expectancy: A good waiter expects his master to come at any time and will be ready�when�the master�comes�before or after midnight or any other time the master chooses to come.
3.eward: The faithful servant who is ready for his master will be rewarded.
We will be blessed if we are ready to receive our Lord. Those who are ready for Jesus' return are alive and active, serving Christ the best of their ability.
Jesus tells us to be ready for his Second Coming. Our heavenly Father sent his Son to this�world the first time to offer us salvation. Next time we will see him rule and reign on this earth as the righteous judge. We will meet him as our judge in his glorious Second Coming.
Now is the time to prepare ourselves for salvation.�
In Luke 12:35, Apostle Luke gives us a picture of what it's like to be ready for the Lord's return.
Verse 35 says, ""Be blessed and ready for service, and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return."
There is no way of knowing for sure when the master of the house would come back. So�they kept their lamps burning, just in case if he comes at night. And they would keep the back of�their robes tucked into their belts so that they could get up and greet him at the door right away without tripping�over their feet. The picture of the servant with the tucked in robe is the picture of readiness.
Our readiness for the Lord's return will be rewarded with the gift of eternal life. The Lord has promised that to�us.
Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil