Stay awake! We all know how well we operate when we are awake, how much we enjoy life when we notice and appreciate the small details of our daily life. When we are sleepy, we don’t enjoy the day: the only thing we can think of is “How many hours before I can go home and take a nap?” Life becomes about how tired we are and the hours left before going to bed. We drag ourselves throughout the day. We could all agree on the fact that to be awake is a better life than to not be awake.
Jesus knew this, and this is why he asks his disciples: stay awake! In other words, he is telling them: live each moment of your life to the fullest....enjoy the small things that make a difference in your day...love is in the details! It is interesting that this “stay awake” is the first invitation we hear from Jesus as we start the season of Advent. The word advent means "to come", so it is as if He was saying: stay awake because I am coming!
If we live a “caffeinated” spiritual life, which is, if we are always awake, we will notice that he already came! And even beyond that: that He comes to us every day! When someone comes to you asking for a favor: it is Jesus meeting you! When someone says a “good morning” or “have a nice day”, it is Jesus coming to you! If you notice a person is not having a good day, and you feel the need to go to this person to ask if everything is alright: it is Jesus begging for your attention! And we can only notice this “daily comings” if we are awake.
Saint Paul asks us to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ”. What is it to put on the Lord if not to see Him coming at every moment in our lives? What is Advent if not that fervent desire, that looking forward to meeting him in whatever way He pleases to meet me throughout my day?
Here is a story of a daily life Advent. Lisa is in love with Nick. Nick happens to be in the military, so he is gone for a while. In the meantime, to Lisa everything speaks about Nick - a song she listens that she knows he likes, a food she tries and that she knows he loves. Nick, in the present moment, is not with her, but she is in so much love with him that she sees him coming at every moment throughout her day by means of the lyrics of a song or the taste of Nick’s favorite dish. Love makes her be awake, and small things: a song, a dish, they all speak to her about Nick.
This is Advent: to long, to fervently look forward to the coming of the one we love. And we do this better when we are awake because then we realize that he already comes to us in our everyday. May we not miss Him, may we at every moment stay awake!