Sunday, November 27, 2016
Don't Hit the Snooze Bar
Have you ever wondered who invented the snooze bar on the alarm clock? The person must have struggled with awakening daily. For many people this little protrusion on our clocks is a luxury as it adds just a little bit more sleep and we feel so much better. Or do we? Research has shown that the interrupted sleep by ways of the snooze bar actually does not benefit us as humans need longer periods of rest, not those extra five minutes which sometimes double and triple for those who love to reach out and smack the bar down in order to gain some more rest.
Over the last week Jesus has admonished us in Luke's Gospel not to sleep spiritually, but to awaken, persevere through persecutions, and clean house. John has revealed his interpretation of the end time in Revelations. It seems pretty clear that snoozing is not an option for us. As humans it is natural to avoid any type of suffering, but we cannot delay what might come in the form of trials that we may have to endure. Jesus warned the disciples not be taken by surprise like a trap (Lk) yesterday. That proverbial snooze button although convenient should not be a way of escape what faces us.
Darkness in itself brings on drowsiness and the same can be said of sinfulness. It is quite easy to dismiss a sinful action as no big deal. Then comes another one and another. Soon the action is quite like that snooze bar, just push down on it and it will go away. Being trapped in sin is quite painful, just as awakening can be. However, Paul provides hope in his letter to the Romans in which he says, "Let us throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light." For the spiritual sleeper that can be tantamount to throwing off the sheets and let the sun come in. Open those shades, the Lord of the light is here.
The readings of today and the past week are a spiritual alarm clock. Many warnings about snoozing and the consequences are quite clear. The events of the past year seem to reaffirm the message of doom and gloom. Despite these signs that are evident in our lives, it is the beginning of Advent, a new year in the Church that provides hope. As Isaiah says, "In the days to come the Lord's house shall be established as the highest mountain." (Isa) From those words of hope let us aspire to not snooze, but to throw off those sheets, leap out of bed, and prepare for the coming of our Savior by praying for the strength to carry out His holy will this Advent.
And finally I leave you with this from Catholic singer-songwriter Ike Ndolo, who penned the song "Awake, O Sleeper," which I feel is quite appropriate for this day. The lyrics are as follows:
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