by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Jesus is in Jerusalem, seated on the Mount of Olives, looking towards the Temple and speaking privately with four disciples -- Peter, James, John and Andrew. He sees they are worried about knowing when the end times will come. He, on the other hand, is worried about how His followers will live when they no longer have Him among them.
So, once again He shares His concern with them: "Watch, stay awake." Then, leaving aside the terrifying language of apocalyptic visionaries, He tells them a little parable that has gone largely unnoticed among Christians.
"A man went abroad and left his house behind." But, before leaving, "he entrusted a task to each of his servants." On parting, he only stressed one thing: "Watch, because you do not know when the lord of the house is coming." When he comes, let him not find you asleep.
The story suggests that Jesus' followers are a family. The Church is "Jesus' house" which will replace "the house of Israel." In it, all are servants. There are no masters. All are waiting for the one Lord of the house, Jesus Christ. Never forget it.
In Jesus' house, nobody has to remain passive. Nobody has to feel excluded, without any responsibility whatsoever. Everyone is needed. All have some mission entrusted by Him. All are called to contribute to the great task of living like Jesus who was known to always be devoted to serving the kingdom of God.
The years will go by. Will the spirit of Jesus remain alive among His own? Will they go on remembering his style of service to the neediest and the helpless? Will they follow Him along the way He opened? His great worry is that His Church will fall asleep. Therefore He urges them up to three times: "Stay awake." It isn't a recommendation to the four disciples who are listening to Him but a command to believers of all time -- "What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'"
The most common trait of Christians who haven't left the Church is certainly passivity. For centuries we have taught the faithful to be submissive and obedient. In Jesus' house, only a minority feel they have any ecclesial responsibility today.
The time has come to react. We can't continue broadening the distance between "those who command" and "those who obey." It's a sin to promote disaffection, mutual exclusion, and passivity. Jesus wanted to see all of us awake, active, and working lucidly and responsibly.