Gospel Reflection Saturday (26 November) – 34th week Ordinary Time – Watching and praying
On this, the last day of the Church’s liturgical year, Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (21: 34-36) in which Jesus tells his disciples to be careful not to be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life for they must always watch and pray so they are able to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.
Fr Paul says today Luke puts before us three things, three things of real importance in the work of spreading the Good News, which Luke has been outlining to us. Those things are sobriety, prayer and the trap.
The first thing is sobriety. We need to concentrate and persevere, instead of being distracted or caught up by the world around us otherwise we might end up like the drunken steward that Luke talks about in Chapter 12:45 who maltreats his fellow-servants and does not even notice that his master has arrived back.
The second thing is prayer. Prayer must always be part of what we do. Luke has stressed this again and again throughout the Gospel: Jesus prays all night before choosing the Twelve; he teaches them his own prayer; parables of prayer abound, and especially the persistence of the Wronged Widow and the Unjust Judge, and the humility of the Tax-Collector.
The third thing is the trap. In Luke the coming of the Day of the Lord is like a trap being suddenly sprung. We have to be ready.
Fr Paul says, all three of these things are telling us that to spread the good news we need to concentrate; we need to persevere; we need to pray; and, we need to be ready for the coming of God.