Reflection by Leona Peszka Today's Gospel: Luke 12:35-38 The dictionary defines “gird your loins” as: to prepare and strengthen oneself for what is to come. We would be hard-pressed to find a contemporary saint that personified this characterization more than St. John Paul II. St. John Paul II, as a layperson, priest and pope, lived a very difficult and dangerous life. facing death several times. Prior to his passing, he publicly endured a debilitating disease and at the end of his earthly time, showed us the dignity and joyful anticipation that can exist when our soul is awaiting the Lord’s arrival. He was prepared and strengthened, and he persevered through every one of his trials because of his great faith in God, his hope in Christ’s promises and his pure love for Jesus and Mary. As we celebrate JPII’s feast day, our gospel tells us that we should always make ready our hearts and souls for Jesus; to “gird our loins”. Luke goes on to say that our reward will be great when we are served at a bountiful feast in our Father’s house. So, how do we prepare for our Master? With the Word and the Eucharist to sustain us and to foster our genuine relationship with God, we need only follow the commandments and be Christ to others as we accompany them on their journey to heaven. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Fortunately for us, we have a truly benevolent God Who remains with us when we falter and forgives us even when we fail. And, when we struggle to remain vigilant in our preparation, we can now call on the intercession of St. John Paul II who, knowingly, said: “I plead with you -- never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.”


Am I ready for the Lord to knock on the door of my heart? Do I anticipate His arrival with delight, or do I live in fear of His judgement?


Lord, help me to fortify my faith and intensify my relationship with You, so that like St. John Paul II, I may not fear, but welcome Your coming with joy!
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