Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth week in Ordinary Time
You also must be prepared
John Tauler (c.1300-1361), Dominican
Sermon 77, for the feast of a Confessor
"You also must be prepared for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come" (v.40)
These words mean : you are to be awake and vigilant because you do not know the hour when the Lord will come from the wedding… Because as soon as some feeling of pride, self-satisfaction or self-will enters a man, the Enemy is there cutting the precious bag of all his good works from him. Oh, children! How many of people like these will you see who have done great works… and thus gained great renown…, but presumption has stripped them of all… They will be placed after the poor and simple fellows whom no one values because of their outward appearance and work. Because they humbly take a lowly place these latter will be set above the others… So keep watch with vigilant soul and you will see the pure truth with open eyes…
« Let your loins be girded and your lamps alight. » Here there are three points to notice. First: the loins are to be girded like someone firmly bound with a rope so as to be led against his will… Second: you are to carry lighted lamps in your hands, which is to say, works of love. Your hands should never stop doing the true, ardent work of charity… Third: you should wait for the Lord when he returns from the wedding… : “The Lord will set them over all his goods; he will gird himself and will serve them.” This wedding from which the Lord comes takes place in the most interior part of the soul, in its depths where the noble image is found. O what intimate contact the soul has with God and God with it in this depth, and what a marvellous work God does there! What rejoicing and joy he finds there! It surpasses all feeling and thought and yet man knows nothing and feels nothing of it.