A Thief at Night…
“For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:2.
St. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians was a dark warning. He compared death and judgment to a thief stealing in the dead of night. Even thousands of years ago, Paul tried to remind us that no one is promised tomorrow. The day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, without warning, and without schedule.
What would you do if you had one hour to live?
St. Don Bosco, a priest and school teacher, asked one of his students the above question. Admittedly, he wanted to see if this student had awareness of “the thief at night” and our un-promised tomorrow. The student’s answer astounded him: “I would continue to play football.”
The student was St. Dominic Savio, who died of pleurisy at the age of fourteen. Dominic’s answer shows the wisdom and disposition we are all called to live by. Consequently, he was prepared to have one hour to live, because he understood he was not promised another single minute in this world. Thus, he loved his whole life as if the thief was coming and he was on his way to meet God and face judgment. The idea of death did not shake him. He knew he had no sin on his soul to desperately bring to confession in the final hour. Dominic’s soul was prepared to meet God, and he could continue to play football with a clear conscience.
Can we keep playing football?
If you knew you had one hour to live, could you keep doing what you’re doing? Does your spouse know how much you cherish them, even if you’re in a conflict or at a low point? Do your children know how much you love them, despite not getting to see them as much as you’d like? Would your boss remember you fondly, as an honorable employee? Will your family be left in a stable financial position, in the case that they lose you unexpectedly?
In short, have you been a good and faithful servant who has run the race well? At this time, is your part done and are you ready to leave the rest in God’s hands?