Praying in the "Moment of Grace"

The (extremely lengthy) Gospel passage today made me think of a good post topic: locating and taking advantage of the “moment of grace.”

Jesus tells us, “if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” (Lk 12) We hear this passage a lot, but what does it really mean? A simplistic – and absolutely correct – interpretation would be that we ought to live our lives as if each moment could be our last. Nothing wrong with this analysis; it’s quite accurate, as long as we live each “last moment” as an upstanding Christian should. But digging deeper into the words of the Lord, we find something very helpful that is not so apparent on the surface…

Perhaps Jesus is telling us of the “moment of grace” that we are all called to find each day – the moment of His love for us that we often overlook because of more “pressing obligations.” Quite simply, as Christians we are not called to live in the past or the future, to let troubles or worries overcome our thoughts so as to force all meditation of the Holy Trinity right out. No, we are most certainly called to live in the “here and now,” since it is only in the very moment we exist in that God conveys to us His immense grace. Times of prayer are often overrun with distractions (which almost always take us to a past or future event). The ironic thing is, if we let these distractions consume us, we are letting something non-existent occupy the space that the ultimate existence, God, should inhabit. The devil tempts us away from loving God by showing to us all the could-have and would-haves in our life, instead of allowing us the “is” of the Lord’s presence.

Back to the Gospel… Jesus’ instruction to “be prepared” for “an hour you do not expect” is actually a call to live our lives right here and right now. If the servant is caught up in the distractions of the past or future, how can he be ready when his master arrives? The master, certainly, will demand that the servant be welcoming immediately, and will be upset if he finds the servant neglecting his duty. In the same way, when we go to the Lord to pray, we must not let our distractions get the best of us. Surely, we can learn much from our distractions (like Andrew’s posts have indicated), but we can never give them free reign over our obligation to meet the Lord in the “moment of grace” that He offers us every single moment of our lives. When you think about it, it’s quite profound – a God who is absolutely, totally, all-encompassingly present in every solitary instant of our being!