I think the Gospel of Luke 12:35-40 is mistakenly interpreted as a call to be prepared to meet the Son of Man at the time of death. This passage reminds us of the words of Jesus when He calls upon us to be dressed for action and to have our lamps ready. It reminds us of the message of the angel to the people of Israel as they prepared to shake off the bonds of slavery and venture into the unknown, that territory familiar to those who have lived their lives under the control of others, those who are to become free for the first time in their lives. These words of Jesus call upon us to be ready for the unexpected moment when He appears at the footsteps of our hearts, so that we will be ready to meet the challenge.
As I get older it seems that I may be less able to meet those challenges, to suddenly move in new directions. I don’t think this is so. The Synod on synodality is evidence that people of all ages are seeking to meet Jesus in our present day and age as He, through the wonderful influence of the Spirit, calls us to explore new horizons, new ways of being Church. Some may not like it. For them, it probably looks like facing death, the death of old and familiar ways of doing things. But I hope, for the majority of us, with the marvelous encouragement of Pope Francis, we can be prepared to meet Jesus as He calls us to break those bonds that have held us to old and stifling practices of the past and to venture into new ways of being missionary-disciples of Jesus Christ.
Columban Fr. Tom Rouse provided this reflection.