Friday, December 4, 2015

Be always alert

by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
November 29, 2015

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

The apocalyptic discourses collected in the Gospels reflect the fears and uncertainty of those first Christians, fragile and vulnerable communities living in the midst of the vast Roman Empire, amid conflict and persecution, with an uncertain future, not knowing when Jesus, their beloved Lord, would come. Also the exhortations of those speeches are, in large part, exhortations those Christians used to make to one another, remembering Jesus' message. That call to be alert, taking care of prayer and trust, is an original and characteristic feature of his Gospel and prayer.

So, the words we are hearing today, after many centuries, aren't directed at other recipients. They are calls that those of us who are living now in the Church of Jesus are to listen to, amid the difficulties and uncertainty of these times.

The current Church sometimes walks like an old lady "bent over" by the weight of centuries, the work and struggles of the past. "With her head low," conscious of her errors and sins, without being able to proudly show the glory and power of other times.

It's time to listen to Jesus' call to all of us.

"Stand up," encourage one another. "Lift your heads" with confidence. Don't look at the future only based on your calculations and forecasts. "Your liberation is near." One day you will live no longer bent down, oppressed, and tempted to discouragement. Jesus Christ is your Deliverer.

But there are ways of living that prevent many from walking with their head up, trusting in that final liberation. Therefore, "beware that your minds do not become drowsy." Don't get used to living with an insensitive and hardened heart, looking to fill your life with comfort and pleasure, turning your back on your Heavenly Father and His children who are suffering on earth. That lifestyle will make you less and less human.

"Be always alert." Awaken the faith in your communities. Be more attentive to my Gospel. Take better care of my presence in your midst. Don't be dormant communities. "Pray for strength." How will we follow in Jesus' footsteps if the Father doesn't sustain us? How will we be able to "stay standing before the Son of Man"?

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