In today’s gospel reading, Jesus calls us to stay awake and be vigilant! The time of our Lord’s return is unknown, therefore, we must always be ready for that day. During the recent period of quarantine, we had to abstain from receiving the Body of Christ, and the message of this gospel seems to emphasize our situation of being cut off from that valuable source of sustenance.
Paul tells us: “Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; in him you are also being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22. Jesus gave us the wonderful gift of Himself through the Eucharist. When we go to church every Sunday, it is not simply to listen to a priest preach and read scripture; we to to enter into the community of the Lord. The ceremony of the Mass is celebrated not only by human beings, but by the angels and saints alike. While we celebrate the Mass, the heavens open up and all who reside there join in our celebration. We share a meal and take in the presence of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Because of COVID-19, we were forced to be denied receiving Christ in the Eucharist. Churches had to close their doors, and we were asked to remain in our homes. By the grace of God, we were able to attend Mass virtually and receive spiritual communion through prayer, but now churches are open again and we can return to Christ’s home, the Church. We do have to ask ourselves, are we still vigilant servants? The new reality of life in this world created by the pandemic has resulted in so much fear that people are afraid to leave their homes. Jesus calls us to be awake and vigilant by going back to His Bride, the Church, and receiving Him through the Eucharist.
The ability to attend Mass with fellow believers is a gift and can be taken away. We should be eager to go to church each Sunday and receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit whenever we can, as well as the Eucharist. We do not know what day the Master will return, and that day may be closer than we think.