Thursday of the Twenty-FirstWeek in Ordinary Time
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. “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. Mt 24,42-47
Let us meditate on this page from the gospel with the serenity with which Paul VI, in his spiritual legacy, pushed his view beyond his earthly life: “I contemplate the mystery of death and Christ, the only one who makes it clearer”. It also happens to us quite often, now that all our children have left home and it is already time for the first balances, to think about our last days. It is a sweet thought, as the sunsets of our beautiful Tuscany when the sun sets down behind the hills and goes to sleep. It is not a thought we seek, since our strength is still good and our commitments many, but the thought of death is always present on the background, as a friend who gives a good advice. Sometimes it suggests us – as it did to the prophet Isaiah – to climb the Lord’s mountain and walk different paths: those of silence, prayer and meditation on the Holy Scripture. Some other times it recommends us – as it did to the poet Mario Luzi, whom we had the privilege of attending – to isolate ourselves from the nonsense of this world and start preparing a few, essential luggage. Most of the times, however, it leads us to spend properly the remaining time and forces, as a runner who, at the end of a good race, prepares for a good sprint. This is also the recommendation of today’s page from the gospel: “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” We really think that today’s gospel encourages us to give something more to family and society. And perhaps this collection of meditations we decided to publish meets this mandate. We ask, then, our Lord to give us, as long as we still have to live, a share of the spirit and will that he gave to St. Paul: “It is not that I have already taken hold of it or have already attained perfect maturity, but I continue my pursuit in hope that I may possess it, since I have indeed been taken possession of by Christ (Jesus). Brothers, I for my part do not consider myself to have taken possession. Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3,12-14).