BE ALERT AT ALL TIMES
“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with overindulgence and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Lk 21: 34-36)
Here our Lord is talking about “that day,” when He will come again for His final judgment and time will end. I’m thinking this morning that “that day,” when time will end, will come upon me at the moment of my death. I’m not sure how chronology will “work” in the afterlife, where there is no time, but in terms of my preparation for “that day,” I’m given this life, in this particular time in history. And in my here and now, my Lord tells me to be “alert,” and to not let my “heart” be “weighed down.”
What can “weigh down” the “heart”? According to the Lord’s warning, it is 1. overindulgence, like unhealthy eating and drinking habits; and 2. Worries of this life, like the fear of financial insecurity, of being alone, and other forms of human anxiety. These concerns, when not placed where they belong, in the hands of God, “weigh down” my heart, because they distract me from my primary, productive and life-giving concern, of nurturing and growing my communion with God. “Be alert at all times, praying…,” Christ tells me, so I don’t slip out of touch with God’s presence and guidance, in faith. So let me re-connect with Him today, in simple, humble, and consistent prayer throughout my day. In God’s grace, I need not fear anything, but “that day” catching me “unexpectedly.” O Lord, let me lift up my heart today, rather than weigh it down, in expectation of You.