A reading from the gospel according to Luke 21:34-36
34 Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise 35 like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth.
36 Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Reflection: Be Vigilant
In the gospel reading above, Jesus is warning us to be on guard against the three things that will make us sleepy: carousing or overindulgence, drunkenness, and the anxieties of daily living. He wants us to be fully awake when He comes.
Overindulgence such as overeating and having too much sexual activity, for example, can make people very sleepy and therefore, deprives them of much needed time for other activities such as prayer. On the other hand, too much alcohol leads to many physical diseases such as liver cancer and high blood pressure. It can also trigger traumatic experiences like accidents, physical fights, and loss of consciousness that may lead to embarrassment and even death. Indeed, too much of anything is bad for physical and mental as well as spiritual health.
Jesus warns us not to be anxious of anything in our daily life. Worrying is a sign of lack of faith and too much of it can lead us to depression. It is a thief that takes away our joy and peace of mind. That is why we need to trust in God’s power to protect us and provide for all our needs.
In the last verse, Jesus emphasizes to be vigilant at all times and to pray more fervently. Constant prayer is a powerful weapon against worry and addictions. It is our source of strength in the midst of tribulations. Moreover, prayer provides us the confidence to meet our Creator at the end of our earthy life.