I remember offering a glass of wine to a friend one night at a dinner party, and they refused because they were on call that night. As a doctor, they were able to attend our dinner, but had to keep their faculties ready to go at a moment’s notice. The second half of the reading from Sunday reminds us to do the same. Following the warnings of coming tribulations, we are told to stay alert. Not that we must spend our days on our knees with eyes lifted to heaven, but that in our days, we should be mindful of who we are and how we are living. We are to be thankful, merciful, generous, kind, joyful, peaceful, faithful, loving, and have self-control. It’s a good place to start this season of waiting.
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21: 34-36)