Jesus urges men to always be ready for Judgment in the Parable of the Watchful Slave. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Temperance so he can avoid temptation by avoiding corrupting media and by building the Virtue of Defense so he can protect himself and his family from evil media.
29th Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Lk 12:35-38
After confronting the Pharisees and lawyers, Jesus exhorted His disciples to remain steadfast in their proclamation of the Gospel despite persecution. Promising God loves those who seek the Kingdom of God, Jesus commands men to not be anxious about worldly things and to trust God the Father to provide for their needs. Jesus now urges His men to be vigilant watchmen who are well-prepared and persevere to serve their Master.
Jesus’ example of The Watchful Slaves is striking for its blunt militaristic tone. Addressed to men, Christ’s example draws upon men’s natural protective instinct and their roles as watchmen and protectors of cities. Jesus calls men to “gird their loins” and “light their lamps”, commands given to fighting men as they prepare for an attack on their city, an allusion to the reality of always being on guard and ready to fight in the Spiritual Combat. Also striking is Jesus’ referral to Himself as the “Master” (or Lord) and His men as “slaves” (poorly translated as “servants”), a clear indicator that men need to recognize their spiritual poverty and humbly serve Jesus. He demands extreme vigilance of men: men should be on watch throughout the night (second and third watches run from 10 pm till dawn), another allusion to the continual diligence needed by men to protect cities at night against the attacks of the enemy.
For those men who sacrifice and remain vigilant in their battle against sin and remain strong in their commitment to serve Him, Jesus promises extraordinary rewards. So great is Christ’s love and humility, that He reveals that He, Himself, will graciously reward those men who remain vigilant, an allusion to the eternal banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be both encouraged and challenged by Jesus as He calls men to watchfulness: Divine King who comes to engage in the Spiritual Combat, Jesus commands men, calling them “slaves”, and uses militaristic terms (girding of loins, to be on watch, lighting of lamps) to call men to think and act like spiritual warriors; the perfection of Diligence, Jesus calls men to extreme diligence, always vigilant even throughout the night; the perfection of Sacrifice (a part of Justice), Jesus Encourages, going so far as to be willing to lower Himself to serve His men (slaves), an astounding reward for obedience.
Avoid temptation by media temperance
Realize: Modern media has been effectively used by Satan to seduce men into vice and sin: over-consuming media (a type of mental Gluttony), wasting time and avoiding important work (Sloth) and viewing pornography (Lust).
Believe: Reflect upon being Vigilant (CCC 2088, 2621, 2730, 2733, 2849).
Pray: Jesus Christ, Perfection of Temperance, help me build the Virtue of Temperance so I vigilantly grow in self-control and resist Satan’s use of media to lure me into Gluttony, Sloth and Lust by practicing temperance.
Protect yourself and family from evil media
Realize: Jesus exhorts men to “gird your loins”, a warning that every Catholic man must be vigilant against Satan’s constant temptations; today, Satan is attacking men and their families primarily through his perversion of media (music, social media, videos, entertainment, news, books, blogs).
Believe: Review the section of the Lord’s Prayer, Lead us not into Temptation (CCC 2846-2849).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Defense/Protection (a part of Justice) so I recognize Satan’s constant temptations through perverted media and have the wisdom and will to take all necessary action to protect myself and my family from Satan’s attacks; Lord, allow me to be strengthened by Your Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.