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Staying Awake in a Tiring World

August 27, 2020   Memorial of Saint Monica (Lectionary: 428)

Reading 1   1 COR 1:1-9

Paul, called to be an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Sosthenes our brother,
to the Church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
their Lord and ours.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to my God always on your account
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus,
that in him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge,
as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you,
so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift
as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He will keep you firm to the end,
irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is faithful,
and by him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm   PS 145:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R.  (1) I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
Generation after generation praises your works
and proclaims your might.
They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty
and tell of your wondrous works.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.
They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds
and declare your greatness.
They publish the fame of your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your justice.
R. I will praise your name for ever, Lord.

Alleluia   MT 24:42A, 44

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Stay awake!  
For you do not know when the Son of Man will come.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel   MT 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,
whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

By Claudia Rodriguez 

I don’t know if you struggle with it, but I do. I call it Catholic Amnesia. There are these moments when I completely forget my worth and my identity, I forget that they lie in Jesus Christ and nothing and no one else.

It’s like during these moments my heart starts doubting the core truths about my identity that I know intellectually and I become withdrawn, insecure, and the struggle inside to choose to act in accordance with God’s will feels all but impossible.

And when I forget my identity, I struggle in being faithful to His calling in my life.

I have come to notice that the doubt in these truths concerning my identity and worth come at me full force when I am not vigilant, when I have taken my gaze off my beloved. The truth is that for the past month I have been in this struggle to remember my identity and my worth. I have placed my worth on all but Him.



Today’s readings speak into this struggle. The Lord speaks clearly to me in one phrase found in the Gospel: “Stay Awake.” Jesus says this to His disciples, and He is saying this directly to me today, “Stay Awake Claudia.”

 He is asking me to be vigilant, to be prepared so that I can recognize Him in my life and know how he wants me to serve. He is not only calling me to stay awake, but also calling me to be faithful and prudent. Being prudent in where and on whom I place my gaze, and faithful always to Him.

And while he is showing this to my heart, I cannot help but ask Him,

“How can I be faithful to you? Look at who I am? Look at all my sins, all my mistakes, my failures, look at my lack of charity in my thoughts, my actions, and my words, look at my lack of hope and trust in you. Don’t you see how unworthy I am to even pray to be faithful?”

And in 1st Corinthians I find His response to this outpouring of lies in the words of St. Paul. St Paul says, “God is faithful and by Him you were called to fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

God is faithful first! And that is why I can respond in faithfulness. Furthermore, I am not alone in this struggle. I am in fellowship with Jesus and because of this fellowship, because of the grace bestowed on me in Him, I am not lacking in any spiritual gift.

It is in this passage of scripture that I am reminded that I am sanctified in Christ Jesus and I am called to be holy. My identity is in Jesus Christ.  I must remember that and stay awake vigilantly guarding it so that I can live out His call faithfully.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Claudia Rodriguez loves her family and friends. She is known for loving to bring people together so they can connect with one another. Having one on one's is one of her favorite ways of spending her time. She loves coffee shops, books, reading her poetry and being a volunteer editor for Chastity Project. It is good to know that if you give her a good cup of blended dirty chai lavender latte she will love you forever. She loves volunteering for her parish and going out with friends after. In the past, she has worked as an English teacher and in ministry and is currently rediscovering her passions and learning to dream again. The Lord is her Shepherd. 

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