Saturday, December 4, 2010

WAKEFULNESS

5th in the "Unsettling Advent" series: Don't Sleep through the Revolution 

“Keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." - Matthew 24:42

Watchfulness also implies wakefulness—in order to watch one has to be awake.  Perhaps this is the greatest challenge to us and to our generation: “Wake up!”

Reflecting on Matthew’s wake-up call, Father Dean Brackley, S.J., is quoted in Sojourners:  
“How do you want to spend your life?  We all know you can ruin it.  But what is more important to recognize is that you can sleep through it… The worst danger is not pain or poverty.  The worst danger is sleeping through the drama of life, the struggle for life and for community against the forces of death and despair.”   
Perhaps if we do not realize that we are asleep, or have an inkling of what it is we have to wake up from or wake up to, we are in particular need of such a wake-up call.

STAYING AWAKE.  Perhaps the issue of staying awake is as important as waking up to begin with.  How many respond to the invitation to new life, to faith, to the future of grace, to be converted, but in time fall back to sleep, or develop myopia, or choose to look away from complexity, difficulty, paradox, suffering, injustice?  On the other hand, I encounter some folk who are continuing to wake up to grace and evidence a wider, more responsible perspective as they grow older.  Weary?  Yes.  Shrinking back? No.  Retiring?  Yes.  Disconnecting?  No. 

PRAYER FOR VIGILANCE.  God, help me continue to wake up to all that You are bringing near.  Agitate my complacency.  Open the eyes of my heart.  Bring understanding.  Eclipse my fear with courage.  Challenge me completely. Implicate me fully.  Condition my actions with wisdom.  And when all is said and done, may You alone be evidenced and honored.  Amen.

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