A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
you do not know when the lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”
I say to all, “watch.”
Because everyone will see Him, if they watch. You, too, will see Him.
Seeing the Lord is not something exclusive; it happens to everyone, if they watch. If they don’t watch, they will miss Him, and they will complain that He never came back. But He will have been there all along.
The Master may come at evening, when you’re late to get home from work and your dinner is getting cold. He might be standing at the freeway exit with a “please help” sign. He might be standing with you at the bus stop, crying because he can’t find his fare. He might be the person who hit you in a fender bender in rush hour traffic, and you’ll have to be as courteous as you can. He might be the friend who calls you just as you’re getting in the door and desperate for a little quiet. And you will have to keep watch.
The Master might come at midnight, when you’re trying to read or watch television and relax. He may one of your children waking up with a nightmare or a fever who needs to be comforted. He might be a phone call from your friend on the West Coast who is lonely and doesn’t remember the time difference. He might be an email from somebody you’ve neglected to answer and you’re just remembering it now. He might appear on the late night news as a refugee or a prisoner and appeal to you to donate to a charity helping them. And you will have to keep watch.
The Master might come at cockcrow, in the darkest part of the night. He might come when you’ve finally dozed off, or when you can’t sleep and are having trouble being patient, or when you’re getting off of the night shift and want to get to bed. He might be a neighbor having an emergency. He might be your spouse waking up with a migraine and needing her medicine.
The master might come at daybreak, when you’re in rush hour traffic again or getting your children to the bus stop or trying to drink your coffee in peace.
I can’t say when the Lord will come, but He will come.
The only thing that’s certain is that He is coming to you.
The only thing you can know for sure, is that your visitation is at hand.
You will see the God you long to see, and what you do with that is up to you.
What I say to you, I say to all: watch.