If the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. Have you ever wondered why Our Lord compared himself to a thief when preaching about his second coming? Why did he also use the example of a harsh master who punishes his servants for not being ready? For those who have neglected their relationship with God, this imagery can certainly be a wake-up call. But what about those of us who have been trying our best to follow him? Should we start shaking in our shoes?
Of course not. Our Lord doesn’t want to frighten us into the kingdom of heaven. But there is an element of mystery regarding his second coming. No matter how spiritual we are, it’s going to surprise us. We know that he will come “upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”. But we don’t know exactly what that will look like or when it’s going to happen. We can only expect that when the infinite enters the finite, the status quo of everyday life will be well and truly disrupted.
Since Our Lord’s return will astonish everyone, we might suppose there’s no way to really prepare for it. But Our Lord’s words tell us that our entire Christian life hinges on getting ready. We are to take up our cross daily and follow him. In order to find our life, we have to lose it.
The best way to get ready for Our Lord’s return is to let him make his home in our hearts. We must learn to be open to the surprising ways he may want to speak to us—not just through his word but through the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit or through the actions and words of the people around us. As we go through our day, we should be open to those annoying interruptions that come to us. Those unexpected requests from Sisters and others may be Jesus giving us an opportunity to serve him. We don’t have to wait for the end of the world to see Our Lord; because he is knocking at our door right now.