“Be on the alert and pray always.” (Lk 21:36)
Today’s Passage: Lk 21:34-36
Meditation: Today’s meditation verse has got naturally two aspects; (a) be on the alert, and (b) pray always. Can these two aspects go together? Or whether they are two sides of the same coin or not? This means that I have to be on the alert as well as to be on the knees. Some anyway doubt this double mission. ‘Let me be free first from all these works, then, I can go for some days’ prayer,’ may their thinking. If not, they think that they are quite disturbed.
‘To be on the alert’ or ‘on guard’ presumes a lot of efforts from your part; both physical and mental. When you concentrate fully on something or someone, then you have to take your attention from other things. Your restriction to this particular task may compel you to deny something; likes and conveniences. We hear of people who are in military or defense makes more such denunciations. All these make them concentrate fully on their mission and task.
Prayer also needs a lot of concentration for it is conversation between God and man; whether they are thanksgiving, praising, petitions, or repentance. When we are talking with someone, whom we like most, we don’t like to be disturbed by all means. If there is a possibility of disturbance, then we will go for an undisturbed area. This is also the same with some serious matters.
Now, we may feel that what people say has some meaning in it; work and prayer won’t go hand in hand. Why then does Jesus say, “Be on the alert and pray always?” (Lk 21:36) I do think that they are to be considered as two sides of the same coin. Jesus is speaking about your dependency on God; ‘you alone can’t do this, my dear son, I shall help you.’ In John 15:5 we read, “You can do nothing without me.”
Therefore, ‘be on the alert’ and ‘pray always’ are not two different activities, rather this is one and the same moment where you depend completely on God and God is working through you. This is otherwise called providence. The word of Lord says to you and me today, “Come near to God, and he will come near to you” (Js 4:8).
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. Teach us, O Lord, how to pray. We do not know, sometimes, the real meaning or the purpose of prayer. Help each one of us to have a real personal relationship with you and understand the warmth of prayer. This will, of course, lead us to pray always and everywhere. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Greetings: God is with you! Have a nice and blissful Saturday…