Monday, March 4, 2013
Women of Faith:
He said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test.” Lk 22: 46. As Christians we are to be on “watch” like the apostles were when Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray.But, like the apostles, have I fallen asleep just as they did? They were faithful followers and still they fell asleep and even denied being with and following Christ. (Peter denied Christ 3 times.)
Yet Jesus was always very patient, forgiving them (and us) for their (our) lack of readiness and watchfulness. And eventually these followers became Saints because they repented, were converted, and chose to be awakened by Christ’s message.How many times have I denied, grown weary, sat back and said nothing when I knew I was being asked to do more, when I was being asked to live or defend my faith—and sometimes, more importantly, to speak up and correct a friend or family member who was circumventing what in my heart I knew was the path of Christ’s truth.
All ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was the Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert. These things happened as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil things, as they did. Do not grumble as some of them did, and suffered death by the destroyer. These things happened to them as an example, and they have been written down as a warning to us, upon whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall. 1 Cor 10: 5-6, 10-12Have you ever said, “It’s their choice, I can’t change it, It doesn’t affect me?”
And yet Christ taught that IT DOES affect me. I am warned that I have come from the same spiritual background and that God is not always been pleased with us (his people) who fall asleep, desire evil things, and grumble that our real work here on earth might be difficult and counter cultural.Yes, I must be careful not to judge, and I must be careful to seek wisdom and to have compassion, for we are all sinners, but I CANNOT fall asleep, I must not confuse speaking the truth with judgment. If I want God’s highest goal for me, heaven, then I must always be ready to live by the highest standard, God’s.
And I must always be ready to ask God for guidance and the courage to speak when someone has fallen asleep to God’s truth. Because IT DOES AFFECT ME!!I am being called to do more, not only to live my life as an example, but sometimes to speak up and awaken those around me, who are not living up to this higher standard. And I might be chastised and outcast by them for following God’s call, just as the apostles were.
BUT this is God’s call—to be awake—to not hide or sleep, for I desire the same end as the apostles, sainthood—to be with God in heaven. Sainthood, holiness, is God’s call to each of us, and with His help, and by my choice, I can be awakened and I can awaken those around me. But I must be careful to never feel too secure or to be caught off guard because it is only human to fall asleep.God made us in His image to be saints. And Christ made this promise possible with his death on the cross.
Jesus said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”Heavenly Father, You are the Way, the Truth and the Life. Help me to not grow weary but to stay ready and watchful. Give me a nudge when I fall asleep. Help me to have the courage to rise up to the challenges of speaking Your truth, to love my neighbor and to help every person I meet to get to know You. Come Holy Spirit, fill my heart with compassion and right judgment, wisdom and understanding to live and to speak God’s command. Amen.
If I fall asleep, if I back down, if I choose to ignore sin, then I am no better and much more guilty, because God has shown me a better way. And I will perish for my choice to “be asleep.”Stay awake, be ready and know that Christ’s encouraging Word is meant to help us rise up.