Jesus warns men to be vigilant and prepared for the coming Judgment. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Temperance so he can battle the deadly Vice of of Gluttony and by cultivating the Virtue of Diligence so he can be ready to meet Jesus in the Judgment at any time.
34th Week in Ordinary time – Saturday – Lk 21:34-36
After warning of the catastrophic world upheavals that will precede His Second Coming, Jesus reassured His disciples with His promises of redemption for those who repent and believe in Him. Now Jesus warns men to always remain upright and watchful, for He may return at any time.
Jesus gives a dire warning about living in the last days, exhorting men to take heed, a militaristic word which refers to being “on guard” in the Spiritual Combat. Rather than allowing hearts to become “weighted down with dissipation”, giving up in cowardice and self-indulgence in reaction to the desolation and destruction to come, men are to joyfully anticipate salvation (v. 28). Rather than falling into drunkenness to avoid facing the inevitable catastrophe, men are to remain sober. Rather than cowardly falling into the “anxieties of life”, men are to heroically face the coming storm with faith.
Jesus urges men to vigilantly prepare for the Judgment of “all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth.” The end will come suddenly like a hidden snare, a noose that violently closes around the neck of an animal and kills it. He urges men to be on “watch at all times”, a warning of the need to pursue a disciplined life of prayer that daily seeks to grow in holiness and by spiritual disciplines devoted to Jesus through which men can build endurance and resilience. No one will escape the unavoidable Judgment of Jesus; men should continually pray to be prepared to stand, rather than cower and hide in guilty fear, when they meet Jesus face to face, humble in confidence that they have given Jesus their best and to faithfully rely on His Mercy. Despite the threats to His life, Jesus arises early and continues to teach in the Temple every day.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Consider with holy fear Jesus’ warning of the unavoidable Judgment: Divine Prophet, Jesus gives clear Warning that every man will have to stand before Him in the Judgment; the perfection of Temperance and Diligence, Jesus Sternly Warns His men to not fall into the vice and sins of gluttony, sloth and worldliness, but to remain vigilant; Divine Priest, Jesus urges men to draw close to Him in prayer, so that they might be sustained in faith and fortitude.
Battle gluttony by pursing temperance
Realize: While the modern culture is obsessed with eating and drinking (fast food, food porn, binge drinking, etc.) and some men are enslaved to the Deadly Sin/Vice of Gluttony (CCC 1866), Jesus specifically warns men to battle against Gluttony for it weakens men’s vigilance and can lead to their destruction.
Believe: Reflect upon Temperance (CCC 1805, 1809, 1838, 1866, 2290).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Temperance, help me build the Virtue of Temperance so I reject the gluttony of overeating and drunkenness, I eat and drink nutritious foods in moderation, I exercise to become physically fit, I practice fasting, and I always am prepared for my coming death, no matter when it occurs.
Diligently prepare to meet Jesus at any time
Realize: Given the uncertainty of when the Second Coming will occur and the uncertainty about the precise time of each man’s death, Jesus exhorts men to always be watchful.
Believe: Reflect upon the Need to be Watchful (CCC 672, 1036, 1821, 2612, 2638, 2719, 2742, 2849).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Diligence (a part of Temperance) so I can vigilantly live a more holy and orderly life, prepare and lead my family in the faith, and become spiritually ready to meet You at any time.