Stay Awake!

In today’s Gospel from St. Matthew, Jesus warns his disciples to “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

This is one of those messages that is easy to understand intellectually, but much harder to internalize. We know (in our head) that we can die at any moment. We know (in our head) that the world could end at any moment.

Yet we live as though we have all time in the world. We make our long-term plans confident that we will see them through. We put off til tomorrow things we can (and probably should) do today. We act as thought there will be time enough for everything.

Jesus’ reminder is a sobering one, and one we need to embrace more deeply. We have no guarantee about how long we will have. We know neither the day nor the hour when our time here will end.

Shouldn’t that make us more careful about how we live our lives?