December 16, 2007

Coat and Tie

1st Week of Advent
Matthew 24:37-44
The Unknown Day and Hour
December 9, 2007

A friend of mine called to borrow a coat and tie because he was invited to a formal dinner in Manila Hotel. It was a surprise invitation. He has no coat and tie. Unfortunately, I do not have one also. I was also caught by surprise! To avoid the embarrassment of not having one, I wittingly said, “Being assigned in Bilibid, I am not used to wear coat and tie, but I am used to hear inmates who say, I was “caught and tied” by surprise by the policemen and brought here in prison. It’s too late to repent.

When I went to Australia, I was caught by surprise again when I learned that I need to wear a coat and tie in one formal gathering. I was so stressed knowing all male were wearing coat and tie while I was wearing a polo shirt. I could have avoided the disaster and such moment of anxiety but I was not prepared. I do not have a coat and tie.

Our gospel this Sunday speaks of the 2nd coming of Jesus for the final and general judgment of all. He gave us a warning that nobody knows when and where it will be. It may not be even during the present time.
But we do have our own particular judgment to face with our own death. We do not know when and where it will come and Jesus gives us a stern warning, “you must be prepared for an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

We need to secure our own “spiritual coat and tie.” Job even said, “I put on righteousness as my clothing” (Job 29:14). We read how the king in the New Testament scolded and punished a guest in his banquet, “How did you get here without wedding clothes?” (Matthew 22:12). The guest was “caught” by surprise and was “tied” up for not wearing his “coat and tie.”

To wear our “spiritual coat and tie” is to wear clothes of righteousness. It means doing three things: To REPENT, REFORM, and REACH OUT.

Advent is a time of active waiting for the coming of Jesus. It is not a passive waiting of doing nothing. We actively work to secure our own spiritual clothes so that when Jesus comes, we have a decent clothes to welcome Him anytime. If we are afraid to die, we do not have the clothes of righteousness yet. We are not yet ready.

The time is now! Be ready! Get in touch with the Boy Scout or Girl Scout in you: “Laging Handa!” Start securing your own “spiritual coat and tie” now. We do not want to be caught by surprise. We do not know when the King’s banquet is. It is better to have your “coat and tie” now than to be “caught and tied.”

Remember… The banquet of the King is too good to be missed.

- Fr. Willy Samson,SJ

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