A Church that is awake
The first Christian generations lived obsessed with Jesus’ prompt return. The Risen One would not delay. They lived so attracted to him that they wanted to meet him again as soon as possible. Problems started when they saw that time went was passing by and that there was delay in the Lord´s coming.
They soon realized that this delay spelled great danger. Their original fervor could be extinguished. With the passage of time, those small communities could little by little succumb to indifference and forgetfulness. They were concerned about one thing: “That, when Jesus comes, he does not find us asleep.”
Watchfulness became a key word. The Gospels repeat it constantly: “Be watchful,” “Be ready,” “Stay awake.” According to Mark, Jesus´ command is not just for the disciples who are listening to him. “What I say to you I say to all: ‘Watch!’” It is not just another call. It is a command for all his followers for all times.
Twenty centuries of Christianity have passed. What has become of this command from Jesus? How do we Christians today live? Do we stay awake? Does our faith remain alive or has it died out in difference and mediocrity?
Do we not see that the Church needs a new heart? Do we not feel the need to shake ourselves out of apathy and self-deception? Are we not going to awaken the best there is in the Church? Are we not going to revive the humble and pure faith of so many simple believers?
Should we not recover Jesus’ living face that attracts, invites, pleads and awakens? How could we keep talking, writing and discussing so much about Christ, without falling in love with him and letting him transform us a little bit more? Do we not realize that a “sleeping” Church that is not allured by Jesus, or whose heart fails to be touched by him, is a Church without future, one that will keep on burning out and growing old due to sluggishness?
Do we not feel the need to awaken and strengthen our relationship with him? Who, besides him, can raise our Christianity from immobility, from lethargy, from being weighed down by the past, from lack of creativity? Who can infect us with his joy? Who will give us his creative energy and vitality?
José Antonio Pagola
November 30, 2014
1 Advent (B)
Mark 13, 33-37