Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 11, 2019
In my hometown of Cincinnati we have an unfinished subway. Begun early in the 20th century, it consists of a couple of stations and some miles of tunnels. It was abandoned before train tracks were even installed, and probably will never be used for its original purpose. We Cincinnatians like to joke about it, but in the late 1950’s and ‘60’s, the unfinished subway did serve an unexpected purpose. For a time, during those years when we all feared that an atomic war might break out, part of the abandoned subway tunnels were outfitted to be a fallout shelter, complete with beds and supplies of food and water. It was an attempt at preparedness that, fortunately, was never tested.
Today’s Gospel is about preparedness and having our priorities straight. It’s a message Saint Luke intended for his community to hear. They lived some 30 or 40 years after the time of Jesus. Perhaps they were becoming complacent. Luke wanted them to hear Jesus’ stern words about being prepared for the Master’s return. He also wanted them to hear Christ’s admonition about priorities. The leaders in Luke’s community were especially to pay attention: When more is entrusted to you, more will be expected.
These gospel truths shouldn’t be buried away like Cincinnati’s unfinished subway. Let’s allow them to live in our hearts every day.