Today we are reminded, through a collection of teachings, of the vigilance required to be faithful, wise, present, and authentic people of faith. The juxtaposition throughout these passages, of faithful and unfaithful servants, and the repeated theme of being vigilant, are messages that the faith journey is not always an easy one. It is often one that constantly challenges. To be vigilant is to keep careful watch for possible difficulties.
In the opening lines of this passage, we encounter some words that we hear often through the scriptures, ‘do not be afraid’. These words in this scripture, like so many other times that we hear them, are a signal of a call to action, call to trust, and call to readiness.
Our default can sometimes be to doubt or wonder whether we are good enough or worthy enough, but repeatedly we are reminded that we should not be afraid of the challenges, doubts, or tricky circumstances that we encounter. Some beautiful words follow – ‘Your heart will always be where your treasure is’. We are already good enough, wise enough, and capable enough, that power – or treasure – is held within our hearts.
With the Feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop celebrated on the 8th of August, I couldn’t help but think of this incredible woman as I reflected on this week’s Gospel. Mary too was aware of the need to be vigilant. Her constant words of reassurance to the sisters of St Joseph, her challenges to the bishops, and perseverance with her work in difficult and trying circumstances – I have no doubt that she was drawing strength and reassurance from the words of scripture, ‘do not be afraid’, and her love for, and trust in God.
There are so many words of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop that we can draw wisdom from. But as we consider this week’s scripture, I can’t help but think that we are called to be courageous people of faith. How will you be faithful and wise? How will you ‘be ready and keep your lamp burning? This is the call to readiness that is for all of us. Let us listen to our wisdom centres – our hearts – and as Mary says have “Courage, courage trust in God who helps you in all things”. ~ Mary MacKillop.
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop – Pray for Us