Memorial Of St Monica – Patroness of Mothers

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.

August 27, 2020

Matthew 24:42-51

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house
had known the hour of night when the thief was coming,
he would have stayed awake
and not let his house be broken into.
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant,
whom the master has put in charge of his household
to distribute to them their food at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so.
Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property.
But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’
and begins to beat his fellow servants,
and eat and drink with drunkards,
the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day
and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely
and assign him a place with the hypocrites,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

For those of you unfamiliar with Saint Monica, she was married to a man who didn’t know God. He was a ne’er do well – a wastrel.

She was a Christian from a Christian family yet she was given to a Pagan in marriage.

His lack of a belief in God led him to drink and being an adulterer.

She had a son who was much like his father in that he was not baptized and believed “all flesh was evil” which allowed him to be somewhat a relativist – believing he could do what he wished as long as he wasn’t hurting others.

Saint Monica could easily have given up and become disillusioned with her husband and son.

Today, we hear Jesus say we should be “awake” (prayerful) because we have no idea when the master (God) was coming.

If we think we have time, we might slip up and become a bad servant who doesn’t treat their fellow servants with dignity. And in so doing we were very likely to be judged harshly when the master comes.

St Monica, chose the better path. She didn’t become disillusioned with her life. Instead, she became more devout. She prayed for her husband who eventually became Christian through baptism – one year before his death.

She prayed fervently for her son’s conversion. Even following him from North Africa to Rome. Then from Rome to Milan – always there to pray for him and to be a reminder of God’s great love of him.

We must be vigilant, we must pray for – not just those we love – but for all who don’t know God as we know God.

If we care only for ourselves, we might as well be asleep when the master comes.

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