Today's Gospel: Luke 21: 34-36
An excerpt from today’s Gospel has always haunted and convicted me: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from...the anxieties of daily life...” I admit that, at times, my heart does become drowsy from the monotony of everyday routine, from the seemingly ordinary lifestyle of a stay-at-home mom. It’s a constant temptation to be looking at what excitement and drama is occurring in everyone else’s life, which ends up being a distraction from the whispers and musings in my heart from God Himself.
“Do not become drowsy...”
Though lack of sleep is certainly reason enough for every sort of vice and wickedness to emerge as the Jekyll and Hyde within me, there is also an element of spiritual and emotional drowsiness that can eventually erode a vibrant interior life; it seems comparable to the state of being lukewarm, as described by Jesus in various parts of the New Testament. Why is being lukewarm so abhorrent? It is akin to the vice of sloth, otherwise colloquially termed as laziness. The scope of sloth, however, extends beyond that of laziness or drowsiness into a true apathy. Today’s Gospel warns us of the slippery slope beginning with a spiritual drowsiness that can quite easily and quickly transform into a spiritual apathy, which truly leads to spiritual death.
“Do not become drowsy...from the anxieties of daily life...”
What are the anxieties of daily life? The minor irritations of a screaming preschooler or teething infant often conglomerate into daily anxieties for me, as well as more major issues, such as finances and my husband’s career or my parents’ health. Anxieties, too, can tempt us to distraction from the fruits of joy and peace that the Lord beckons us to enjoy and can only be fulfilled in a heart that is free from the burden of anxiety. Anxiety, like drowsiness, is an unnecessary onus that often blocks us from the freedom of grace that the Lord offers to us at every moment of every day.
The truth is, a vigilant heart is one that is open, one that is ever-ready for God’s next move in and through us. It is one that says yes unabashedly to the trials and the triumphs of everyday living. It is a heart that exists in a deep state of knowing and believing that God truly does provide for every detail of our lives, including the ones still hidden somewhere in our subconscious. Anxiety and drowsiness, while seemingly “normal” and harmless states of being, can lead to a life void of spiritual vibrancy, which is what God warns us in the Gospel. Let us bask in His Truth instead.
What are the anxieties of my daily life, and how do they get in the way of all the goodness God desires to give me today? Have I become drowsy in my prayer life? If so, how can I return to a life of vibrancy, hope and spiritual fruit?
Jesus, Your Word is Truth. You are The Word made Flesh. You dwell among us in so many ways, and today You remind us that we must remain steadfast in our resolve to be watchful for the ways that sin so easily creeps into our lives. Give us today a heart that is expectant, patiently waiting for You to speak and to act in and through us. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Jeannie Ewing
About the Author
Jeannie Ewing believes the world ignores and rejects the value of the Cross. She writes about the hidden value of suffering and even discovering joy in the midst of grief. As a disability advocate, Jeannie shares her heart as a mom of two girls with special needs in Navigating Deep Waters and is the author of From Grief to Grace , A Sea Without A Shore , and Waiting with Purpose. Jeannie is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and contributes to several online and print Catholic magazines. She, her husband, and three daughters live in northern Indiana. For more information, please visit her website lovealonecreates.com.