"Watch at all times!" Luke 21:36. Jesus often in the Gospel warned us to keep alert. There are many stories in history about people falling asleep and getting into trouble. Union General Stoughton was asleep when Confederate Mosby slapped him on the back side to wake him up and said: "General, ever hear of Mosby?" "Yes", he said, wiping the sleep from his eye. "Did we finally catch that scoundrel?" "No, but he caught you!"
The Greek New Testament word for "watch" is agroopneho which means without sleep.
Jesus comes to us when we least expect Him. We must always have the guest room
ready and in good order. We live in a world of distractions that take our focus off the presence of Jesus. Little things that happen take on enormous importance far beyond actuality. We neglect the wonderful reality of the presence of Jesus who is with us all days even to the consummation of the world. Our values can be practically known by how much time we spend on them. A man might say he loves his children, but spends very little time with them. I think we would seriously question his sincerity.
The words in today’s Gospel "at all times" in the original Greek New Testament are "in
every critical hour (kairos)". It is especially important to be sleepless during the crises of our lives. Maybe this is why the Lord allows so much trouble. He gets tired of our neglect and sets us running to Him for help. We spend millions of dollars in this country on medication to put us to sleep. I think one of our biggest problems is that we sleep too much! Jesus is our doctor to make us sleepless in prayer.
Fr. Bob Weiss, C.P. preaches Parish Missions and is a member of the Passionist Community in Detroit, Michigan.