Be on your guard: don’t immerse yourselves in a life of pleasure, drunkenness and worldly cares, lest that day catch you unaware, like a trap! For, like a snare, will that day come upon all the inhabitants of the earth. But watch at all times and pray, that you may be able to escape all that is going to happen, and to stand before the Son of Man.
These are the final words of Jesus in his discourse about the last things according to Luke. The recommendations of the Lord are basic and always applicable. First is to be careful with the distractions the present life offers us in abundance, especially in our stridently noisy civilization. We are weighed down in our hearts, especially with pleasure, drunkenness and worldly concerns. These, in fact, are sometimes so heavy that they obscure any other hope and love. Our interior horizon is reduced to these worldly values.
But the “day” can arrive suddenly, and in our times often we see how this becomes an unexpected end of many lives.
The Christian attitude is doubled: to watch and to pray. The vigilance is against slumber in a moral sense. Prayer is the basic recollection of our spirit before the Lord, with frequent sighs of love and hope, and with regular moments totally for the Lord. Even the apostles were incapable of this during the passion, but Jesus keeps telling us to be conscious of our ultimate goal. Every night there should be a little recollection of it. Thus can we escape all that is bound to happen and to stand before the Son of Man forever.
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