TODAY is the Sunday on which the Church reminds us of Judgment. Christ tells us that we should always be prepared for the day of Judgment and not to take any chances, like George did at his birthday party. George was having a wonderful birthday party. All his friends had been invited and the noise of their shouting and gay laughter filled the whole house. Just as the games were at their best, the cry went up, "There is a fire in the cellar." Now, of course, George did not want his party to be spoiled. Why, the ice cream hadn't even been served yet. So he said, "Go on playing for a while longer. We can use the street door." Well, the children played on and the fire burned on until the street door was cut off. But George said, "Keep on playing. We can use the roof door." They moved up to the top floor and the fire came still closer and even melted the ice cream. George said, "Go on playing. I have the key in my pocket." They kept on playing and the fire crept closer. Then even George thought it was time to leave. He walked over to the door and put in the key. Then he turned pale and was really afraid. He had the wrong key. A l l the children banged on the roof door and began to shout, "Fireman, fireman, open the door!" The firemen saved them just in time.
So often in His preaching our Lord warned us about death and Judgment. He told us again and again to beready. "Watch ye, therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour."
The best and only preparation we can make is to be ready always. Many people have devoted their lives to this thought. When death threatens they are ready to act. Ambulance drivers are always ready to race through the city streets in a contest of speed with death. The police emergency squad will reach any part of the city in a few minutes to save a life. The firemen who rescued the children from George's party are always standing by. Hospital surgeons are ready, operation rooms are always prepared, and nurses are always on the alert. A priest is ready at any time, day or night, to go to a sickbed or the scene of an accident. As soon as death threatens there are people whose whole lives are devoted to being ready to act and to save. But how often is the person most concerned — the one who is about to die — how often is he ready? How often do people find themselves making hasty preparation for the greatest moment of their lives? How often do they forget the warning of Christ that death comes like a thief in the night? "Watch ye therefore and pray because you know not the day nor the hour."
Source: Heirs of the Kingdom, Imprimatur 1949