My Dear Sisters and Brothers! In the Gospel Jesus said: “See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit.” Those who stay up late playing with their digital screens could say that it is exactly what they are doing. However Jesus went on saying: “Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.” Here we detect that the waiting Jesus means is of a different kind. It is a good waiting. It is a constructive waiting. It is a beneficial waiting. It is a transformative waiting. It is a waiting we need continuously to fight for. It is a waiting we always struggle to maintain. It is also a waiting which is not addictive.
Some years ago I was given a chance to spend a few days with Trappist monks who live a life of prayer, mortification and vigil. They wake up at 3 am to come together for liturgical prayers in their monastery church. For me it was a daily fight I had to engage myself in, to leave my comfy bed and to make my way to the dark church. Would I describe those monks as zombies? Certainly not. They were not addicted to what they were doing so early every morning. They still had to put on a fight to go and to keep vigil. On the contrary I would confidently apply to them the words of Jesus: “See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit. Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.”
Someone said that what kills any relationship is losing the sense of longing for the person we love. As Catholics we know that Jesus will return on the last day, though I wander how many of us hope that it will not happen during our lifetime. Jesus Christ will return. He has assured us of that. This Sunday as we come to celebrate Mass let us examine how much our faith; our religiosity is determined by our longing for the Lord’s return. However apart from that glorious return, which will illumine the Universe and reveal the hidden secrets of people’s hearts, we also look forward to those daily, inconspicuous returns of the Lord, when he comes with his grace and forgiveness. Those daily returns of the Lord are like the heartbeat. If there is no heartbeat there is death. If there is not longing for the Lord’s daily returns to us, if there is no welcome for him there is death too. That’s what makes of us dead people walking- zombies. Our physiognomy may not be disturbing or scary but a clear indication of death reigning in us is our thirst for using people and things to recompense the missing relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
My Dear fellow believers! Electric lamps have replaced the oil lamps Jesus and his people used. However nothing can replace the relationship with God which Jesus has come to revitalise. As we read in the Letter to the Hebrews: “Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remain unseen. It was faith that our ancestors were commended.” If your faith becomes blurry ask yourself how much you long for Jesus’ return. Do you want him to return?