VIGILANCE AND PRAYER

Saturday, 34th Week in Ordinary Time         

            Meister Eckhart, a mystic and spiritual master, says, “The Word of God is spoken continually in our soul. But where are we?” He tells us bluntly, “God is with us in our inmost soul, provided he finds us within and not gone out on business.”

            We so often use our five senses to anesthetize our souls, to gratify ourselves, and to blunt reality. We are often “out on business” satisfying our senses – disregarding our spiritual needs, ignoring the deepest desires of our hearts. However, when we run away from ourselves, we are running away from the wonder at the heart of our being. (Sacred Space, 2016)

            Jesus, in today’s gospel, is warning us about three dangerous traps that could hinder us from attending to our spiritual needs: Carousing: Jesus warns us about indulging into too much pleasure. We are warned about ‘filling’ our lives with things that are unpleasing to God. Drunkenness: Jesus warns us about satisfying ourselves with lesser things. We are warned about “getting intoxicated” with things that make us avoid or evade what we need to face or confront. The anxieties of daily life: Jesus warns us about getting too much preoccupied with worldly cares.

            After giving us warnings, Jesus gives us directions: “Be vigilant at all times and pray…” Let me emphasize three points: We must be vigilant and prayerful – for us to see and to discover the guiding presence of God in our lives. And so that from this we may get the strength and hope we need as we struggle on in our lives. We must discipline ourselves – or else we would waste our time, talent, energy, and resources. Self-discipline creates conditions for maximum effectiveness in the way we use our gifts in serving God and neighbor. We must have a spirit of sharing – with the realization that sharing does not diminish our wealth; it extends its usefulness. Sharing does not impoverish us, it does not make us poor; rather, it enriches us with a deep sense of satisfaction. We must strive to develop the habits of vigilance, discipline, and sharing. In this way, we allow ourselves to encounter God who is in our inmost soul.

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