The Young Man at the Tomb Holding Fast to Each Other Amen to What We Are The Lord, Our Justice Claiming Our True Name What We Expect The Comma Keeping the Demons Quiet The Dove in the Heavens Thankfulness and Generosity Speaking to Jesus A Promise to Simeon and Us A Sign for You The Voice in the Wilderness How Annunciations Work The Least, the Lost, and the Last Waiting for Christ’s Return Attire for the Kingdom The Cross in a Violent World Come to the Banquet Today Anointing of the Sick Finding the Eternal Change and Continuity Paying Attention The First and the Last Using Bad Consequences How to Talk to God Ready to Forgive Facing the Serpent Priority and Mutuality Three Meals a Day Searching for Pearls The Power of Service Why Walk on Water? 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The Problem with Sparrows Eternal Creation Patient Vigilance Buried Treasure Thinking Again Where You Do Not Want to Go The Courage to Speak Humility and Truth Do Something Good Knowing the Song Acting Against Evil God Will Come What We Can Say Senseless Violence Invitation as a Threat What Belongs to God Two Commands, Side by Side Burdens We May Not See Foolish or Wise Accepting the Consequences Serving the Least Watching for Jesus Camels and Gnats Becoming Smaller The Christmas Barber The Ring of the Kings The Freedom and Faith of John the Baptist Zebedee The Opioid Crisis Approaching, Grasping, Lifting Up What God Intends The Battle with Satan Following Elijah and Moses Standing in Truth A God of Love or Condemnation When Life Turns Not Fully Prepared The Wounds We Carry Selling Onions Son of Encouragement To Love as God Loves Engagement with the World Doubting Disciples Sabbath Avoiding the Diabolical Persistent Hope Speaking the Word Within Us “And Also With You” Capital Punishment I Will Go On Three Wise Choices Will You Also Leave? 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An Examined Life

August 7, 2016 Click on the left end of the black bar to play/pause

August 7, 2016
Luke 12:32-48
Fr. George Smiga

In today’s gospel, Jesus wants us to be vigilant, to stay awake. But why is this important to him? To answer this question, we have to understand what staying awake means. In the biblical sense, staying awake does not mean that we should try to get by with three hours of sleep or include Red Bull into our diet. Staying awake is something deeper. The Greek word to stay awake is also the word to stay alive. So Jesus’ call to vigilance is really a call that we live life as deeply as we can. You see, God’s will for us is not to run about hectically from one thing to another, become stuck in mindless routine, or give ourselves to something that is insignificant. Jesus calls us to live life to the fullest and to pull out of life as much joy as we can.

So how do we do this? How do we live life more deepIy? I can answer that question in one word: reflection. Twenty-four hundred years ago, the Greek philosopher Socrates told his students that the unexamined life is not worth living. Socrates taught that we need to examine the lives that we live and the people we are. He was convinced that living was not simply about doing, but about reflecting on what we do and what we should do. Socrates understood that when we become busy, begin to struggle, or become distracted, reflecting on our life is something that falls by the wayside. But a life that is not examined quickly becomes empty and disassociated from purpose and meaning.

For Christians, prayer is a way to examine our lives. Prayer calls us not only to reflect upon the lives that we live but to situate our lives in our relationship to God. Prayer need not be complex or time consuming. Prayer can be as simple as taking five minutes each day to ask ourselves, “What three things am I thankful for today?” Once we identify those three things, we should bless God for those gifts. This simple exercise of reflection reminds us who the people are who loving us, what opportunities we might have to act and to serve, and how God is blessing us and directing us this day. In this simple reflection, we deepen our lives, and are more likely to live our lives with joy.

The unexamined life is not worth living. This is why Christians pray. This is why Jesus tells us to be vigilant, to stay awake. He does not want us to go through life sleepwalking or in a daze. He wants us to understand how much God loves us and how blessed we are to be God’s daughters and sons.

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