Thursday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
“Stay awake!” Our Lord tells us. Surely you’ve had experiences where you struggled to stay awake. Maybe during those experiences you were waiting for someone to return home late at night. In such a case, you might have experienced any number of emotions: joy, fear, or perhaps anger. Maybe the experience was driving late at night in order to reach a far-off destination, making you anxious and exhausted. Maybe the experience was finishing a project, paper, or report for school or the office: such an experience may have been fraught with fear.
There is a wide variety of emotion which can accompany the experience of trying to stay awake. But if we consider the two events that Jesus’ words today concern—the coming of Christ in salvation history, and Christ coming to us at the moment of our deaths—we see that these two things share something in common. They are both unexpected.
To stay awake for these two things is to stay awake for the unexpected. Do not expect Christ to be part of your life in the way that you expect, or even perhaps in the way that you would prefer.