Change in the Blink of an Eye

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Life changes in the blink of an eye.  All it takes is a phone call, a meeting or a seemingly unimportant choice.  The change may be positive, but when this is the case, we accept the change joyfully and move on happily grateful for the unexpected blessing.  When the change is an unwelcomed one, then the world seems to come to a grinding halt.  The future darkens and it appears as if nothing will be the same.

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.”  This Gospel passage is primarily a call to vigilance in regards to death, but it may be applied to all unexpected and unplanned moments of life.  Anything may happen at any given moment, and we must be spiritually prepared.  Otherwise, the soul withers away with the weight of the world.

During these past few weeks many stories have emerged from Texas as Hurricane Harvey pounded the coast pouring feet of water over millions of people.  Life has significantly changed for many, and unfortunately for some, earthly life has ended.  I heard an interview of a man who escaped from his van as the rest of his family drowned as the vehicle quickly sunk into the raging water.

Many years ago as I browsed the clearance rack of a bookstore in Pittsburgh, a woman standing next to me received a call on her cell phone.  She answered with a cheerful “hello.”  I quickly heard her tone of voice darken into distraught horror, and watched as her body appeared to melt at my side.  Her life was changing as I stood there at her side, she was receiving terrible news.  As soon as the call ended, she called out to a man a few aisles away.  I overheard their frantic conversation: her sister had just died in a car accident.

When these moments arrive in life, Jesus calls us to “stay awake” by remaining faithful in the midst of adversity.  Staying awake requires trusting that Jesus walks with you in the midst of the crosses of life.  When darkness quickly descends upon a soul, it is imperative to allow the light of Christ to shine brightly.  The mystery of the cross is that in the midst of great trouble and adversity, by carrying the cross, we find redemption.

Life changes at an unexpected hour. Whatever the change brings, Jesus is present, and throughout the struggle He always looks upon those suffering as He did the hungry crowds by the Sea of Galilee, with pity and compassion. By standing in solidarity with the many whose lives have changed forever in Texas, may Christ grant us the grace to remain vigilant and be prepared for those difficult changes which happen when least expected.

Picture is mine, all rights reserved, 2017

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