“Yikes, Am I Prepared?”

Am I prepared ? Am I prepared for the upcoming test, the audition, the job interview, maybe meeting new people, or leading a group session, etc. There’s often that nagging question. I frequently  read at daily mass; I prepare by going over the readings prior to mass and at least whisper a prayer asking the Lord to help me do it well. In the morning I offer my day to the Lord…my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings… I ask the Holy Spirit to help me live the day in accordance with God’s will. Regardless of how well I prepare, there is usually a little bit of doubt lurking in the corner of my mind. 

“Am I ready ???”

When I was in college, I had a lot of anxiety taking tests…much of it because I knew I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been… too much “dilly dally” instead of studying…. “Let me watch the “3 Stooges” to relax me before I begin studying Organic Chemistry…. ”

As I’m now moving into old age and seeing many of my friends “fall asleep in the Lord”, I start to think about my REAL FINAL EXAM….the exam that will determine eternity. Am I prepared? You would think by now I would have everything tied into a neat package….. I’ve given my life to Christ and tried to live for him…though very imperfectly. Yet, am I really prepared ? Hmmmmmm.

Jesus often tried to assure his disciples about this important moment. He said, ” Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3) The Lord does not want us to be anxious about the moment of our “falling asleep”. He is not trying to trick us or surprise us…. he wants us to anticipate a wonderful moment and reunion.

Sister Lucia of Fatima commented about preparing for this moment by being dependent on God and on the utter submission to the Father’s will, “following it with faith and with the simplicity of a child, which aware of its own helplessness, abandons itself into the arms of the father, where it rests and sleeps securely, because it knows that its father will carry it safely, protect it and lay it down to rest…and even when the child fails, they are confident of forgiveness and know they can run and throw themselves into his arms. In God’s eyes, we are all his children.” (Sister Lucia of Fatima, Magnificat, 5-13-22)

We don’t have to be perfect in order to be confident at our final judgement. We’re not going to stand before a harsh magistrate at judgment; we’re going to be escorted into the grasp of our loving and kind father.  “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!(Mt. 7: 9-11)

As we experience more and more the goodness and the mercy and the kindness and the hope of our Lord, let that give us more confidence that we will receive a wonderful welcome home and kiss from our God when we fall asleep. “Oh St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and  Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath.”

So, let’s do our duty as best we can as we anticipate a fatherly welcome home when our time is finished…… and that is wonderful news. 

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