The vigilance of a Christian

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Lk 12 35-38

 See that you have your belts done up and your lamps lit. Be like people waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. In truth I tell you, he will do up his belt, sit them down at table and wait on them. It may be in the second watch that he comes, or in the third, but blessed are those servants if he finds them ready. 

This is one of the clearest texts of how we should live as Christians, and it is essential that we translate this into our daily lives. It is not primarily a vigilance that fears forgetting something that is important – and it is already valuable – but a vigilance of awakened love. The Lord we are waiting for is not a Lord whom we have to fear, but a Lord whom we are waiting for with all our hearts, whom we long for, because His presence is the most beautiful that can happen to us.

It is not only the love of a child, but the most intimate union of love that is possible with the Lord. And because this love awakens everything in us, therefore he can come at any time and we are ready for him!

How can we achieve this vigilance of love? Let us try to understand this word of the Lord:

„Don’t put your belts down!”

This could mean that we should not leave ourselves to the warm stream of natural life by being primarily at home in the sensual world. This warm current makes us sleepy us if we have no distance. We must learn to be prudent in our natural lives so that our spiritual vigilance is not restricted. This also applies to the areas of sleep and food, which are integrated into our lives in the right way and are intended to be beneficial, but not dominant.

“Let your lamps burn!”

In connection with burning lamps, the Lord also speaks of good works. The Lord wants us to be busy with them. This certainly means those works that we call works of mercy. Practiced love keeps our hearts awake, especially when we consider doing everything for Jesus. These works include prayer and vigilance over our spiritual path, so that we do not miss the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who keeps us alive.

This watchful love asks us always to remain in the Lord, to follow the leading of the Spirit of piety, who wants to please the Lord, to gather treasures for heaven, to cleanse our consciences again and again, so that we may be more easily connected to the Lord.

In this way, love for the Lord can become ever more intimate; we are not only servants waiting for the return of the Lord, we are more like a loving bride waiting for the bridegroom.