Be on guard at all times

By | August 4, 2010

Our God is a divine visitor breaking into our lives in ordinary and extraordinary ways, when we least expect the Lord’s coming, as well as times of promised presence. Our task is three fold: alertness, faith and commitment.


Bishop Robert Morneau

We are to be on guard. As the Gospel records, the master’s return can be at any moment. Our lamps are to be ready; our hearts open. There is a problem here. Distractions can overwhelm us and make discernment difficult. Because of the multiplicity of stimuli, we can become numb and lack the sensitivity to notice and respond to God’s daily intrusions. Grace after grace can pass us by.

One way to remain alert is through discipline, especially fasting. When we are not satiated, there is less likelihood of being present to the moment, indeed, the sacrament of the moment. For is not the divine visitor just around the next corner, in the next encounter, in the person we are presently talking to? Mortification keeps the mind and heart in a state of readiness. It is well worth the sacrifices involved.

Faith is the second component that enables us to sense the presence of the divine visitor. Abraham and Sarah believed and trusted in the promises that God made to them. Because of that faith, they would have numerous descendants and pass on to them and to us the confident assurance of God’s love and the conviction that God’s redeeming love is surrounding and sustaining us. Faith in God’s fidelity would lead to salvation and the fullness of life.

We live in a culture that demands evidence and proof. If we cannot see it or reason to it, the “it” doesn’t exist. Can we truly believe that the divine visitor is with us every hour of every day even though we cannot see or feel God’s presence? Faith it is that empowers us to be truly convinced that God is here, now! And it is a God who is with, for and in us. Abraham and Sarah blazed the trail and we are but to follow.

Commitment will be asked of us when the divine visitor approaches. God’s coming convinces us of two graces: divine love and mercy. If we truly experience this mystery of grace, then we are committed to share that blessing with others. Alertness and faith lead to commitment. Alertness and faith lead to discipleship.

The big question is that of hospitality. Will we risk welcoming our visitor God and embracing the divine will, whatever it may be?

Questions for reflection

1. What is your level of hospitality?

2. Are your mind and heart in a constant state of alertness?

3. What commitment is God asking of you at this time of your life?


Bishop Morneau is the auxiliary bishop of the Green Bay Diocese and pastor of Resurrection Parish in Allouez.

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