Jesus said to his disciples:
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants
who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known
the hour when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Not a frequent choice at all for funerals. Perhaps not the wisest inclusion for the OCF Lectionary. Really: our loved one may indeed have been surprised by the moment of death. And all may have seemed right between the person and God. But do we really know?
Even though my own father re-engaged his Christian faith on his deathbed, one family member had doubts, and remained upset about the possibility that maybe his repentance wasn’t sufficient. In a situation like that, a reading like this one from Luke might cause more upset among the mourners. It certainly won’t make a different for the deceased.
That said, the message about being prepared is obviously a needful one for Christian believers. The serious question is: when to preach it?