Preparing for the Unexpected

August 7, 2022; Luke 12:32-48; 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today’s gospel Jesus tells us to be prepared for an hour we do not expect. What is he saying? He is asking us to be prepared for the sudden turns of life. We are familiar with the saying, “Nobody can tell what the day will bring,” but we also know that certain days in our lives bring about dramatic changes that influence everything. Your elderly mother falls and breaks her hip, and you realize that she is no longer safe living alone. You receive a phone call from the police that your son has been involved in a serious automobile accident. Your boss calls you into her office and gives you notice that your job is finished. Your doctor is not pleased with the results of your blood test and orders further testing. You can tell that he is seriously concerned.

On any given day life can change dramatically. It is like turning a corner and suddenly being able to see, “Oh, that’s what I am going to have to face. This is how my life will run for the next few weeks or months or years.” And Jesus tells us that we should be prepared. But how do we prepare for an hour we do not expect? How do we make ourselves ready for changes that we cannot anticipate? We prepare by living our relationship with God today. We do not know what the future will bring, but Jesus does. When life hands us a difficult turn, we do not want to be alone. When we turn a corner and see what we must face, we want Jesus at our side. The best way to have Jesus at our side then is to make sure that we are a part of Jesus’ life now.

So today is the day that we need to pray and be thankful for all that we have been given, our family, our work, our abilities. Because when we allow that thankfulness to seep within us, we understand more clearly God’s graciousness and generosity. And then when life hands us a difficult situation, we can be confident that God’s generosity will continue. Now is the time to pray for God to bless those we love, heal those who are sick, and curtail the violence and the hatred of our world. Today is the day that we should commit ourselves to act on behalf of justice, to support the needs of the poor and protect the oppressed, all in Jesus’ name. Then, when the day comes that we must face a heavy trial, we will not have to introduce ourselves to Jesus and explain to him who we are.

We prepare for the unexpected by living our life of faith today, by praying and acting as those who belong to Jesus. Then on that day when the knock comes at the door or the phone rings in the middle of the night, we will be ready, because Jesus will already be standing at our side.

1 thought on “Preparing for the Unexpected”

  1. Thank you, Fr. Smiga. Your reflections are appreciated. When I got the phone call that my son had passed away suddenly 6 years ago, I don’t know what I would have done without Jesus by my side.


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