THURSDAY, TWENTY FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
1 Thes 3: 7-13; Ps 90: 3-5, 12-14, 17; Mt 24: 42-51
ALIVE AND ACTIVE!
Today’s gospel passage starts with a rather strong warning: “Stay awake!” In our society, we have a growing number of people who complain about not getting enough sleep. Some even suffer from insomnia, which can be short-term or chronic. Such people will not be alert the next morning. Hence, sufficient rest and sleep are essential to staying awake. But what if this sleep is excessive, i.e., more than needed, and at odd times, i.e., when the person should have been awake?
Goto Zuigan, a Buddhist Rinzai Zen master, called out to himself every day, “Master!” and answered, “Yes, sir!” Then he would say, “Be wide awake!” and answer, “Yes, sir!” “Henceforth, never be deceived by others!” “No, sir, I won’t!” He was enacting the role of two people; but he knew it and that made all the difference. When we play at being two people and we are not conscious of it, then we are asleep. Jesus terms it as ‘dishonesty’ in his parable. Zuigan also knew that he was only enacting a role and could stop playing it anytime he wanted. The unconscious games are the ones that control us and may never end!
There are thousands of ways we can be asleep. Jesus mentions eating and drinking, which can lull us into sleep and unconsciousness. On the spiritual plane too, we can be lethargic and sleepy. We have heard of the expression: sleeping giant. We use it to refer to someone who has not shown or realized his full potential. Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the late President of India, once said: “Dreams are not what you see in sleep; they are something which don’t let you sleep.” God has a plan (dream) for each one of us. Am I restless to realize it? Are there God-given gifts that are lying dormant in me? And is my relationship with God vibrant and active? Only those who are alert and awake will be “put in charge of his household” by Jesus, the Master
Response: Fill us with your merciful love, O Lord, and we shall exult.
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