Is it possible for us, just as it was possible in Jesus’ day, to miss his coming? Of course, it is. But Jesus gives us a way to make sure we are ready to welcome him. He commands us, simply, to ‘watch.’ Notice how the command is repeated in Jesus’ discourse, adding an unmistakable emphasis, as if Jesus were saying, ‘Watch! Watch! Watch!’—just to get our attention. But Jesus is not talking about our physical eyes alone. He is reminding us not to disconnect what we see around us from the eyes of our heart. Later, Jesus uses the same language of watching as his friends sleep while he prays. The Gospel seems to be telling us that the way to watch is to pray. Understood this way, prayer becomes an invitation to attentiveness, to contemplation; ‘contemplate’ means, after all, to see. Mother Teresa said, ‘Seeing the face of God in everything, everyone, everywhere, all the time and seeing his hand in every happening is contemplation.’ When we learn to see this way, we will be open for the many ways God comes to save us—even if God comes as a poor child or the revolution we want begins with a mustard seed.
Prayer Oh God, may the eyes of my heart prayerfully watch for your coming.
– Chad Hyatt