By: Maggie Leonard
Matthew 24. 36-44
Reflection—v. 42, ‘stay alert’
Time and again in this discourse, Jesus pleads with us to stay alert. I’ve learned a lot about remaining alert through my prayer practice. Silent contemplation calls us to cultivate an alert, relaxed awareness in which one can notice not only the outer world, but one’s inner response to those external forces without reacting to them. Finding a state of relaxed alertness helps us to cultivate our ability to witness, truly seeing all the relevant elements. We have to be alert to truly see what is in front of us, to be nonreactive, and to make wise and discerning decisions. To be alert we have to slow down. We have to have conversations with people different than ourselves and to receive their stories as their experience. We have to take time in silence—taking a break from replaying stories and stressors in our minds, from the constant stream of news on our various media sources, from being on the go, from the compulsions of our to-do lists. Jesus’ plea for us to ‘stay alert’ calls us away from those who would distract and deceive us from where God is bringing about God’s kindgdom. May our hearts not grow cold with judgement, but help us to stay alert that we might grow in compassion.
Prayer Sustainer of life, may you instill a loving focus in me, that I may see your world clearly.