FIRST READING: Is 2,1-5
This is what Isaiah, son of Amoz, saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come,
The mountain of the LORD’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.
All nations shall stream toward it.
Many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us go up to the LORD’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
That he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”
For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and set terms for many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
One nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.
House of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the LORD!
SECOND READING: Rm 13,11-14
Brothers and sisters: You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we fi rst believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.
GOSPEL: Mt 24,37-44
Jesus said to his disciples, “For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left.
“Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
IN OTHER WORDS
One very early Saturday morning, I was driving past a prominent street in Cebu City when I saw the street was densely populated with young people, probably students, drinking and tipsy and engaged in boisterous merry-making. Beer gardens, pubs, music lounges, outdoor restaurants and KTV rooms spread over the area, visible from the main street. Dancing lights and blaring disco music seem to have dominated the atmosphere. I learned later on that the street has become a favorite destination for people, mostly young, to congregate and have fun over the weekend.
Time and again, we are being warned by the gospel message to keep a good watch for we do not know the day or the hour when the second coming of our Lord would happen. But then, as in
the days of Noah when people refused to enter the ark despite the warning of the coming flood, many people of today would not listen and even those who do would think the second coming as so remote that any immediate preparation would not be necessary. The necessity and the urgency to prepare do not sink into the inner spiritual psyche of many people.
Few individuals would realize how fragile life can be. Few would know that at a strike of a calamity, without warning, thousands and thousands of people, young and old alike, would perish.
We have seen that in Yolanda and the preceding earthquakes in Bohol or Negros or another super
typhoon Pablo (Bhopa) in Compostela Valley. We have seen that in airplane crashes, sea mishaps,
and numerous road accidents everywhere. For all we know, the Lord’s second coming takes on different faces and forms and definitely in His own time.
The Lord’s warning to stay awake remains true today, not only to the people that troop to that particular street in Cebu but to everyone who has become complacent in their spiritual lives, to businessmen who are so engrossed with pro t and to professionals who have become so focused on their office responsibilities to the detriment of their spiritual duties. Stay awake and stay focused on things above and avoid the unpleasant surprises in your lives!
- Fr. Michael Layugan, SVD | DWST, Tagaytay
The Word in other words 2016
An annual project of Logos Publications, The WORD in Other Words Bible Diary contains daily scripture readings and reflections written by priest, brothers, and sisters of the three congregations founded by St. Arnold Janssen (the SVD, SSpS, and SSpSAP). It hopes to serve as a daily companion to readers who continually seek the correlation of the Word of God and human experience.