I do a bit of sport fishing and hunting, and I know how important it is to keep watch. I have spent many hours peering out of a blind in the early morning mist, or watching lines in the water. When you keep watch, you’re alert; you’re aware of everything around you; you can see things you ordinarily would miss.
“Blessed are the alert,” says Jesus, in this week’s gospel text. Be alert to the world around you and notice what needs doing today. There is an urgency about Christian life, Jesus said. “Give alms … be dressed for action and have your lamps lit…Blessed are those whom the master finds alert.”
We delay when we put off telling someone we love them, or that we are sorry we hurt them. We nap when we put off visiting the sick or feeding the hungry. We delay when we avoid taking action on an important local issue, or reading that informative tome. Each day we are living in the shadow of eternity, and Jesus has called us to make each day fit to be our last.
So, even in this slower period of summer, when our guard is down, and we are more prone to drowsiness, Jesus prompts us to attention: “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit,” for you and I do not know when this will be our last day. In short, make your life count day by day, in God’s love and for the sake of others.