GOSPEL MESSAGE & RECORDING
In the Gospel Reading today Christ speaks about “being ready.” Christ, in order to explain this idea of “being ready,” speaks in regard to being ready at all times. In order to do this, he makes an analogy to a homeowner and that if he had knowledge that a thief would break into his home, he would be ready to fight him off. The point is that we have to be spiritual ready at all times.
Often, we speak about “becoming ready” but I believe that it is high time that we “be ready.” As Christians we will face many types of struggles in this world. Are we ready to handle them? Or are we going to give up, or lose sight of our faith during those times?
I find that we need to be ready within the following areas:
Be ready for disappointment. There are many areas of life that we will be disappointed. There is a laundry list too lengthy for us to share here. But a few examples will suffice, such as, relationships, education, career, marriage, spiritual leadership, etc. In these times of disappointment, are we running to the Sacraments, the Bible, to Prayer, to Fasting? Or are we running to social media to post our problems and find solutions there. Are we running to addictions of various sorts and attempting to find fleeting comfort, which eventually leads to long term pain and suffering. Or are we venturing into the demonic by going to card readers, psychics and opening the door for evil spirit to enter into our lives. The point is this: rather than being able to handle the disappointments of life by turning to God, we turn to the world and even demonic things and lose our faith. If disappointments come our way, let us be found ready to handle the valid emotions and go through them, not trying to escape but rather fighting through it with Christ by our side.
Be ready to have less. Our home, cars and wealth are all temporary. Nothing is promised to last. And so, therefore, we should be ready to have less. I am not saying be ready to lose it all—but even then as Christian we should be—but to be ready to have less. How do we know what is awaiting us in the future. Don’t get use to the bigger and better things. Don’t get snug with our status, recognition or position because one day it could be gone. And if that happens are we going to be ready to turn to Christ and say, “all I have is yours…the Lord gives and the Lord takes.”
Be Ready with the Word of God. When times of struggle approach our lives are we ready with the Word of God—the Scriptures—the Bible? If not, I would say, we are not equipped to handle the tough times in life. Those who are familiar with the Scripture are familiar with Christ. Don’t be caught “empty handed” as an Orthodox Christian, flapping around like a fish out water, or being tossed to and fro by the wind, but rather, because we are sound in the Word, we are ready to handle life’s tough situations.
Be Ready with Prayer & Fasting. As heat is to the Sun, so is prayer and fasting to the Orthodox Christian. We are often caught off guard with regard to many situations in life; that is, confused or perplexed as to why things are happening, all because we have not spent time with God in prayer and fasting. Those who do, however, will find that they are able to navigate through more meaningfully and find solutions to the struggles that they face. Are you ready with prayer and fasting?