As we are at the beginning of the school year, I am reminded that the words “Pop Quiz” can bring panic in some students, and they maybe even bring a flash back to some of us who have been out of school for a while. When I was in my last year of seminary, one of the professors took joy in walking past a fourth theology students and ask them to “recite the prayer of absolution.” His rational was it is a prayer that every priest must know immediately and always because you never know when someone will ask for a confession. I myself have heard confessions in a car, in a park, a hospital, and in an airport. The reasoning behind the pop quiz is because there are some things that we just need to be prepared for at any time and any place.
Many times, when I am running errands, while wearing my priest collar, I have had people come up to me and tell me that they haven’t been to church in a while, or that seeing me reminds them that they need to go to confession. The police and military train for a lot of different situations that may or may not ever happen, why, because there is a possibility that they might and they want to be ready for them. The same should be true for our faith life, what if the pop quiz we run into is the end of our life? What if the pop quiz is to answer for the things we have done or not done in our lives? Would we be ready for the judgment of God today if something bad happens? This is something that we do not often want to think about, but so many times Jesus reminds us that we must be ready because at an unknown hour the Lord will come.
To make sure that we are ready for a pop quiz in school, we study and make sure that we know the information. To make sure that we are ready for a pop quiz in our work life, we learn our job and make sure that we are ready for the situations that we may run into at work. The big question is what are we doing to make sure that we are ready for the hour that we may not know about when the master of the house returns as Jesus tells us. The good thing is that we can be ready for that pop quiz that will come to us at the end of our lives and there are many different ways to make sure that we are. Some of these ways are to do a good daily examination of conscience in which we pray about the good and bad things we have done each and every day, to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation often, to pray each and every day, to be a part of the celebration of the Sunday Mass, and to be that follower of Christ that He calls us to be. If the Lord comes for us today will we be ready?