“Stay awake!” These are Jesus’ words to us in today’s gospel, and they’re very timely at this hour of the morning!* Seriously, however, Jesus spoke them so we would live in anticipation of his coming again.
But do we do this? I can’t imagine that our first thought this morning was: “Maybe Jesus will return today!” But perhaps it should be. Because if we lived in real expectation that Jesus might appear at any time, we would probably live very different lives. I say this because we so often we don’t do today the things we can put off until tomorrow.
This tendency to procrastinate affects our spiritual life. We say things like: I’ll work on getting rid of that bad habit- tomorrow. I’ll start praying more regularly- tomorrow. I’ll apologize to that person I hurt- tomorrow. I’ll become more generous with my money- tomorrow. I’ll make my confession- tomorrow. And so on and so on. What’s worse, our “tomorrow” often becomes the next day, and then the next, until whatever it is we should have done doesn’t get done at all.
But the truth is that one day there will be no tomorrow. That’s why Jesus insists that we “stay awake”- so we don’t put off until tomorrow, the things he wants us to do today.
Readings for today's Mass: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/082511.cfm
* homily was preached at a 7:15 a.m. Mass!