Prepare for the Greatest Journey
Let’s get out the catalogue and plan for the greatest trip of our lives. Soon we will find that even the planning is part of a wonderful adventure filled with such good things. We’re on the magnificent journey to eternal life as told by Jesus, our King
Tony Meehan, Cape Town – The teaching of Jesus was often strengthened by his use of parables. These parables were stories encapsulating the life and times of the people living in the age of Jesus and the disciples — shepherds, fishermen, tax collectors, and the like. In this way it was easier for the many simple folk to relate and understand more fully the messages and teachings of Christ.
The Sheep and the Goats
Christ the King loves us and is yearning for us to accept his love and to love one another as he loves us. That is why he wanted to simplify his message as much as possible. It was to ensure that people would grasp the teachings from the similarity in the parables to the daily happenings in the lives of those living in that era.
In the Gospel of the feast of Christ the King (Mt 25:31-46), the requirements and rules of preparation are spelt out; how necessary it is for us to do this, and the consequences of not preparing.
There’s a story about a young couple who decide to travel to Europe to visit some of the continent’s many great cities.
Talking About the Trip
Our excited couple acquire a number of travel guides from the local travel agent and are paging through these colourful books. The adventure has begun! Or has it?
Each week the couple visit the travel agent and talk about their pending trip to Europe and the places they are to visit.
After about six visits the agent grows concerned. No final plans seem to be forthcoming from the prospective travellers. No discussions on the booking of flights, dates, times, final destinations — nothing.
The agent politely enquires about the necessary arrangements, which obviously need to be discussed. But the couple are quite offended. Why would the agent want to know the dates of departures and arrivals? Surely they can go whenever they like.
The travel agent, not wanting to upset potential customers, continues to courteously explain that there are certain things that need to take place in order to procure such a tour. Things like the availability of flights, obtaining passports and visas, bus tours, what cities are to be visited, how long the various stays would be, and so on.
A Vague Dream: Not Prepared
The couple now get irate: “Surely there are planes leaving for Europe every day? All we need to do is to go to the airport and get a flight overseas. And why would we need passports or visas and all that nonsense?
“When we get to London we’ll just catch whichever bus to Paris suits us and then go on from there.
“We have money to pay and we are going to Europe. In fact we don’t need you or your silly old books. We went to school and we know all about the capitals of the world.”
Is this a familiar story? Could anyone be as foolish as these two young folk?
Our immediate reaction is probably “no”. How can anyone expect to go on holiday without proper planning? Everyone knows what needs to be done and only an idiot would try to do otherwise.
Can we arrive at the airport and demand a flight? Can we meet St Peter at the gate and demand entrance?
We Must Accept Jesus as Our King
Can we live our lives without Jesus our King, and then expect some priest to write up a quick visa at our deathbed? Do we expect God to accept those last-minute prayers as being a sufficient passport to heaven?
Seasoned travellers will tell about the arduous boarding check-ins, passport controls and so on, all of which they are prepared for.
If we, foolish people, never ignore the normal requirements of this life, why is it that we can so easily ignore the mandatory requirements of getting to the next?
God loves us and pleads with us to wake up before our sleep overwhelms us with the stupidity and ignorance which the devil wishes for us.
There’s No Plan B
There is no alternative or Plan B to conclude this life. There is only one you, one God and one heaven.
So, let’s get out the catalogue and plan for the greatest trip of our lives. Soon we will find that even the planning is part of a wonderful adventure filled with such good things. We’re on the magnificent journey to eternal life as told by Jesus, our King.
No one is promised a tomorrow; but tomorrow a journey must be made.
Be sure that your visas and passports are up-to-date and valid, for soon we will arrive at the heavenly immigration officer, the King of our journey, who is waiting to stamp our passports with: “Come, take your place, prepared for you — and for which you also prepared so well.”
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