If you want something in life, or if you want to be good at something, you have to prepare. Whether it’s a career, a hobby, or a sport, you have to put in the time to train, to practice, to get better. Or if you’re interviewing for a new job, or getting ready for a test, you have to study and prepare, you have to know your stuff.
If I want to go run a marathon, I have to put in the time, the preparation to make it those 26 miles. In that job interview, I better be able to answer the questions I think they’re going to be asking. In so many things in life, we prepare and practice, and when the time comes for the task at hand – we are ready.
Why don’t we do this with our faith? Why don’t we prepare our souls for the inevitable, so that when we are subjected to that final test – we pass?
I mean, we don’t embark on a big trip without first filling up the fuel tank in our car, do we? But why then do we embark on the journeys of this life, this limited life here on earth without preparing ourselves for the afterlife, that eternal life in Heaven?
The thing is, the answers are there. They are all around us. We have them in Scripture, we have them in the Sacraments. We have them in the Mass. We have them in each other. We have them through all of that, all through Christ.
But yet I don’t know if we prepare as well as we should. We don’t know when that hour will come when we will be here on this earth, living life and the next moment we’re gone. We’ve all experienced this with those we know and love. We pray for their salvation and their eternal life in Heaven, but when you think of the people whom you know who abruptly die, the question that always comes into my mind is – were they prepared?
The thing is, God is reaching out to us, every day, trying to prepare us. If we seek Him, and seek His wisdom, He will prepare us for the day when we meet Him face-to-face. There’s a beautiful verse in the first reading today from the Book of Wisdom today where it says that if we focus on growing in Wisdom:
“that it is perfect understanding, and he who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears in their paths and meets them in every thought.”
If we go looking for God, He will come to us in our very path and in our every thought. And this is especially true in times of pain and sorrow, the dark times in our lives.
It is in this way that we prepare our soul. With every challenge and trial that comes our way, it is tough to get through, but if we continue to seek His Love and Wisdom and Guidance through those times, it’s like adding fuel to our tank. It is further preparing us for the journey to come. It’s preparing us for that time when He finally does come, our souls will be souls of light, and not souls of darkness knocking for Him, begging Him to let us in.
We must prepare our soul.
And this makes me think of a favorite movie of mine.
There’s a line in the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where Indiana Jones is searching for the Holy Grail, the cup Christ used at the Last Supper. In this part of the movie, Jones’ father has been taken and so he is searching for the Grail so that he can find his father. There is a group of men who have sworn to protect the Grail and its whereabouts, and so Jones and one of these men are fighting…
I’ll save the rest of the movie for those who have not seen it, but Jones is holding the man down and they’re both about to be thrust into a boat propeller and killed when he says to the man that this is his last chance.
The man then says, “My soul is prepared. How’s yours?”
In this life, we’re constantly being held down and thrust into danger. We never know when it will be our last day. And so we need to continuously ask ourselves that question.
I know I’ve got work to do on my own soul.
WIS 6:12-16; PS 63; 1 THES 4:13-18; MT 25:1-13