August 27, 2015 The good news for today
Jesus speaks of being awake: “So too, you also must stay ready; at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will show up.” (Matthew 24)
You are familiar with virtues—love, faith, kindness and patience, self-control and generosity. Jesus points you, however, to lesser-known virtues; “staying awake” is possibly the most important one for you.
Telling about a homeowner who fears a break-in, Jesus cites the virtue of “being awake.” What does “being awake” mean to you? Are you really “awake,” as Jesus reminds you here?
“Awake” means you do not stay with what is comfortable, familiar and agreeable—you can sleep, passively, through all of that. Being awake suggests that you wake up to God’s creation—to love not only friends you like—honest, nice folks—but everyone. It suggests you confront challenges with courage, avoid anger and disdain—but live with appreciation, respect and alertness to the shifting world around you.
“Awake” means you stay conscious of what is going on—not judging quickly, not denying evil, not clinging to prejudices, but appreciating what is good. Curious about “other people,” you see people deeply—past appearances—accepting their depth, mystery and contradictions. “Awake” means you recognize Jesus ‘coming’ into your life at every second of your waking hours.
The Good News of Jesus is that you hear Jesus in the soft music of a child’s laughter at a Dairy Queen, or someone’s reaching out for you before he goes to prison; you choose for office someone with real integrity; your being “awake” may involve recognizing that you gotta cut the grass, listen long to a tedious phone call, or hear your conscience telling you to reach out now to the troubled friend.