Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (24: 42-51) in which Jesus said to his disciples, “Stay awake because you do not know the day when your Master is coming”.
In today’s Gospel, Fr Paul says, we hear at the beginning about the householder staying awake, knowing the hour that the burglar would break the wall of his house and when we read that we, sometimes, think it’s quite strange but we have applied our modern eyes to what the walls of a house are. In Jesus’s time, they would have been made of mud and straw and so gaining access to a building would simply mean chipping through that mud, grass and straw and so enter into the house through the wall.
Mindful of this preparedness to be ready, Fr Paul asks, what does the warning Jesus gives in this Gospel, ‘Stay awake’, mean here? Does it mean living in the present moment and not getting caught up in past regrets and negative memories that stop us from living now? Or does the warning ‘Stay awake’ mean to resist being eaten up by anxieties about the future?
Staying awake means entrusting both the past and the future to God. It means being sensitive to the Divine presence encountered in the people and events that we experience each day.
And so, with this in mind, for our reflection, Fr Paul says, ‘How awake am I to God’s presence? How awake am I to the Divine presence in the people and the events of my day, here and now?’