In the garden, when Jesus admonished His disciples because they couldn’t “stay awake”, I think His words were meant to be timeless; a perpetual message and reminder to us all.
For Catholics, Eucharistic Adoration is a beautiful way for us to “amend” the failing of the Apostles in Our Lord’s hour of need. We can go to Him, fully and physically present, just as He was, in the garden, and “keep watch”.
But, what about the rest of our daily life journey? Are we “staying awake”?
Since the Fall of Man, we humans have been in a “spiritual darkness”. We are “asleep”. We have been told, in the Scriptures, to be watchful and ready and aware, for Jesus is coming again; but, we know not the hour or the day.
At times, we trick ourselves into thinking that to be spiritually healthy and/or “awake”, we must be doing “something spiritual”…or, at least, something on a “large scale” in a spiritual way. I am reminded of the lovely Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle (author, speaker, wife, mother, and friend of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta) who often encourages us in her talks by reminding us that we don’t have to go to India in order to the serve the Lord. Our “mission field” is that which the Lord has placed under our own rooftops.
How easy is it, though, to “fall asleep” in our marriages, in the raising of our children, in our friendships, and in our faith? We get used to the “routines” and the “ebb and flow” of our busy daily lives, and we “slack”, big time, in “keeping watch” and “staying awake” for Christ.
As we await the Second Coming, we should be “on our toes” in all aspects of our lives. How “awake” we are, will be found in the way we treat our spouse, the way we choose to speak and act (Romans 13:13 reminds us not to do so in “quarreling and jealousy”). It can be seen in the way we choose to spend our time (Read the Bible, lately?), and in the forms of entertainment we seek and in which we participate and promote.
If Jesus allowed us to hear His voice, in an audible manner, right now, what would He be saying? Would He say, “Well done! Good and faithful servants!” Or, would we, like the Apostles, hear the Savior’s justified anger: “Why can you not stay awake even for one hour?!”
Truly, there is no such thing as a “casual” conversation. There is no such thing as a “day without meaning”.
Every moment that we live on this earth, is spent either growing closer to God or away from Him. And, in our actions, we are either leading others to Heaven, or away. This is the way that we can show God that we are “spiritually awake”. That we are willing to “keep watch”. That we are anticipating the Second Coming of Christ and that are preparing a welcome for Him!
Matthew 24:44 tells us that Jesus will come in an hour we “do not expect”, and that we must “be ready”.
Perhaps placing some of these verses, in visible areas, around our homes, would help us. The next time we are going to waste away our hours, we might glance at the Scripture on the bathroom mirror and choose 10 minutes of prayer, instead.
Perhaps the next time we are going to complain or whine or grump at our spouse, we will glance at Romans 13:13 on the kitchen wall, and “keep silent”, instead.
Each little step, made consciously and with diligence, becomes a “spiritual awakening”. We weaken the hold that the enemy has on our human passions and emotions. We let him know that as for us and our homes, “We will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15)
The Sacraments, as well, are akin to “splashing cold water” upon our worn and weary face. The revive us, refresh us, and cleanse us. They help us to “stay awake”.
The day before you now has been given to you as a gift from your Father in Heaven. Will you live it “half asleep”? Or, “wide awake”?
Copyright 2012 Judy Dudich