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Memorial of Saint Monica, Married Woman

My dear encountered couples:

This is the day of the year that gives hope to all mothers and wives who worry about the spiritual condition of their children and husbands. It is the feast of St. Monica whose son, Augustine, for the first thirty plus years of his life stayed as far from the baptismal font as he could get, and whose husband put off his acceptance of Christ until he was about dead. Monica prayed and cried, she worried and sobbed, wept and wailed for years over both of them. In Southern California, as the story goes, some Spanish explorers found a rock spring that dripped and dribbled without letup. They called it, and the town they founded nearby, Santa Monica.

In the gospel today, Jesus says we need to be prepared. We don’t know when, but we need to be ready. If the homeowner knew the burglars were going to break in, he would stay awake and be ready to protect his house. If the steward knew when the master was coming home, he would make sure to have supper ready, or at least he wouldn’t be partying and ignoring his duties. Even if the master is late, the steward shouldn’t let down his guard.

The thousands of people who have died from COVID didn’t expect that would happen. They couldn’t have guessed last year that there would be a deadly pandemic now. They certainly didn’t plan on it, but we hope they had or got their affairs in order.

Now we know more about the situation and how to react better. Our school plan is all masks all the time, social distance everywhere, wipe down everything. We are preparing how to stay safe, how to limit exposure, how to prevent contamination. Knowing that there is potential danger now, we can make the preparations to stay safe and healthy.

We don’t know the hour. We don’t know the future. As I’m writing this now, I don’t know for sure when this pandemic will end, or what. But I want to be prepared for what happens. When it’s my time, I want to be ready for the journey.a

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