19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C): Gospel – Luke 12:32-48
The central message of today’s Gospel is that we must be prepared, and ever vigilant, as we await the Second Coming of Christ in glory.
Jesus uses the imagery of a banquet in His example: if the servants are found to be vigilant when their master returns from a wedding, the master himself will serve them at his table. This alludes to an idea that was especially prevalent in Jesus’ day: namely, the Messianic banquet that would take place at the end of time, a feast celebrating the Lord’s final victory over evil.
By virtue of His passion, death, and resurrection, Christ has already triumphed, and His victory is celebrated eternally in heaven.
We are able to participate in that celebration at each and every Mass, a re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice that culminates in the Eucharistic banquet. This celebration is called “liturgy,” meaning “public work.”
“The liturgy is the work of the whole Christ” — Christ Himself and all the faithful who comprise His Body. “Our high priest [Christ] celebrates it unceasingly in the heavenly liturgy” (Catechism paragraph 1187).
At Mass, the ordained priest in fact “represents Christ as Head of the Body” (1188). “In the earthly liturgy we share in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy…toward which we journey as pilgrims” (1090).
Let us enter more deeply into the mystery of the Mass, which helps us to prepare for the Lord’s coming.
Question for reflection: What would I do if I knew that Christ would return tonight?