He’s encouraging us to live each day ready to love. In that way, we’re storing up treasure for the day when we will meet God face to face.
It’s good to reflect on the question: how would I like to meet God?
Each one of us is going to die – we all have a terminal illness. We don’t know when or how, but we will die. How ready am I to meet him?
Jesus wants us to be ready for that moment. We will die as we have lived, and if we’ve lived by sacrificing ourselves for others, we’ll be ready.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that when we die, we will each be judged on our lives. St John of the Cross put it well: “At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.”
Christ’s message today is to live each day as a preparation to meet him with joy.
There is a story about St Therese of Lisieux who lived ready for the Lord. She had taken to heart John of the Cross’s maxim “At the evening of life we shall be judged on love,” and she strove to exemplify it in her own life.
Here’s just one example. She described how the other sisters used to leave their mantles strewn around the chapel after they prayed the Divine Office.
The winters in France are bitter, and the convent in Lisieux only had heat in one room, so these mantles were a vital part of the nuns’ wardrobe.
St Therese wanted to ensure that they were ready to use when the sisters returned, so, after everyone was gone, she used to fold up each mantle and leave it in its owner’s seat.
No one ever knew who did this loving action, but there were doubtless some grateful nuns in that cold chapel! As St Therese put it, “I loved to fold up the mantles forgotten by the Sisters, and to do all sorts of little services for them.”
St Therese of Lisieux lived always ready because she did ordinary things with extraordinary love.
How about us? How we prepare ourselves for that moment?
How can we live always ready? If we wait for the great occasions to love, we’ll be waiting forever. However, we all have countless opportunities to prepare our hearts for our definitive meeting with the merciful heart of Christ.
The key is to learn to do ordinary things with extraordinary love. With that in mind, what sacrifices can I make so that others don’t have to sacrifice?
We can start from our home. As a husband, as a father, as a wife, as a mother, as a son or daughter, as a brother or sister; what can we do? Doing something simple but we doing it with great love.