Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stay Awake, Increase and Abound in Love

By Beth DeCristofaro

Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. (Matthew 24:42)

Teach us to count our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. (Psalm 90:12)

Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we have for you, so as to strengthen your hearts, to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. [Amen.] (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13)

Stay Awake!  How easy it is to drift off or find ourselves mentally absent.  St. Monica is revered for her persistence in praying for the conversion of her entire family, especially the recalcitrant and dissolute Augustine. 

Today another beautiful woman, Chaplain Mary, is being remembered for her dedicated, skilled and faith-filled service.  Rev. Mary directed pastoral care at a large, urban hospital where she was well suited to as skilled administrator and passionate advocate for her department but also gently and pastorally present to fearful, hurting, confused patients and families.  Although she had health issues, her death was unexpected.  I didn’t know Mary well enough to know if asked the week before her death about mortality whether she would say “I still have so much to do” or “I’ve run a good course and had a good life.”  But I do know that she was Awake.  She touched many with holiness and welcome.  She abounded in love and persistence.


St. Monica lived to see her prayers answered.  Not all of us necessarily do.  Jesus asks us to stay awake in faithful knowledge and constant hope that the Bridegroom will arrive for us.  Are our lights burning?  Are we awake?  Do we feel that each day, rooted in Christ, we increase and abound in love?  Were we to meet Jesus face to face like Mary has, what is needed in our own spiritual house to show the Master that we have been faithful and prudent servants?

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