The first Christian generations lived obsessed by the immediate coming of Jesus. The Resurrected One can´t be far of. They were living so drawn by him that they wanted to meet up with him again as soon as possible. Problems began when they saw that time was passing and the Lord´s coming was delayed.
They soon realized that this delay was deadly. It could dampen their early enthusiasm. With time those small communities could fall little by little into indifference and amnesia. They were worried about one thing: “What if the Christ comes and he finds us asleep”.
Keeping awake became a key phrase. The Gospels repeat it constantly: “Keep watch”, “Be ready”, “Stay awake”. According to Mark, Jesus´ order isn´t just for the disciples who are listening to him. “What I´m saying to you I say to all: Stay awake”. It´s not a new calling. It´s an order for all his followers for all times.
Twenty centuries of Christianity have passed. What´s become of Jesus´ command? How are we Christians living today? Are we staying awake? Are we keeping our faith alive or has it burnt out through indifference and mediocrity?
Don´t we see that the Church needs a new heart? Don´t we feel the need to shake ourselves out of apathy and self-deception? Aren´t we going to awaken what´s best in the Church? Aren´t we going to revive that humble and pure faith of so many simple believers?
Don´t we need to recover the living face of Jesus that attracts, questions and awakens? How can we keep talking, writing and discussing so much about Christ, without falling in love with him and letting him transform us a little bit more? Aren´t we aware that a ´sleeping´ Church in which Jesus doesn´t seduce anyone or touch anyone´s heart, is a Church without future, one that goes on burning out and growing old because of its lack of faith?
Don´t we feel the need to wake up and intensify our relationship with him? Who but he can free our Christianity from its paralysis, its inertia, the weight of the past, the lack of creativity? Who can infect us with his joy? Who will give us his creative energy and vitality?
José Antonio Pagola
Translator Fr. Jay VonHandorf