“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 like a trap.” Luke 21:34-35a
This is the last day of our liturgical year! And on this day, the Gospel reminds us of how easy it is to become lazy in our life of faith. It reminds us that our hearts can become drowsy from “carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life.” Let’s look at these temptations.
First, we are warned against carousing and drunkenness. This certainly applies on a literal level, meaning, we should obviously avoid abusing drugs and alcohol. But it also applies to numerous other ways that we are made “drowsy” through a lack of temperance. Abuse of alcohol is only one way of escaping from the burdens of life, but there are many ways we can do this. Any time we give in to an excess of one sort or another, we begin to let our hearts become drowsy on a spiritual level. Whenever we seek momentary escapes from life without turning to God, we allow ourselves to become spiritually drowsy.
Second, this passage identifies “the anxieties of daily life” as a source of becoming drowsy. So often we do face anxiety in life. We can feel overwhelmed and overly burdened by one thing or another. When we feel burdened by life, we tend to look for a way out. And far too often, the “way out” is something that makes us spiritually drowsy.
Jesus speaks this Gospel as a way of challenging us to remain awake and vigilant in our life of faith. This happens when we keep the truth in our minds and hearts and our eyes on the will of God. The moment we turn our eyes to the burdens of life and fail to see God in the midst of all things, we become spiritually drowsy and begin, in a sense, to fall asleep.
As the liturgical year comes to a close, today, reflect upon the fact that God is calling you to become wide awake. He wants your full attention and He wants you completely sober in your life of faith. Put your eyes on Him and let Him keep you continually prepared for His imminent return.
Lord, I do love You and I desire to love You all the more. Help me to remain wide awake in my life of faith. Help me to keep my eyes on You through all things so that I am always prepared for You when You come to me. Jesus, I trust in You.
Novena to the Immaculate Conception
November 29-December 7