Friday, 2 January 2015

Wake Up!

It's impossible to start listening for the Word of the Lord without beginning to wake up.

Jesus begins his preaching in the Gospels with a blunt wake-up call: "The time is fulfilled! The Kingdom of God is at hand! Turn around and believe the good news!" (Mark 1.15).

The Rule of St Benedict echoes that call, quoting from a number of different passages of Scripture:

"Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep ...
Today, if you hear his voice, harden not your hearts ...
He who has ears to hear, let him hear ...
Come, my children, listen to me ..."
(Rule of St Benedict, Prologue, quoting Romans 13.11, Psalm 95.8, Revelation 2.7 and Psalm 34.12)

So often we are like sleepwalkers, blundering through a world of mystery and wonder, pain and delight, joy and confusion, and immeasurable grace - all without the slightest awareness, as though waking up each morning to find yourself alive and breathing and inhabiting this vast cosmos were just normal and to be expected, rather than an astonishing gift!

And in the midst of all this, for those who care to see, the presence of God. No wonder Benedict encourages us:

"Let us open our eyes to the deifying light,
let us hear with attentive ears."
(Rule of St Benedict, Prologue)

My friends, wake up and smell the coffee. Smell the roses. Smell anything! Take a good look around and ask yourself just exactly where you are, and who you are, and where all this came from. There are some surprises waiting out there for you, if you choose to look.

Image: Gordana Adamovic-Mladenovic via Wikimedia Commons

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