Thought of the day
Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday of the Thirty-fourth week in Ordinary Time

Stay awake, praying at all times

“Watch!” Jesus insists… We are not simply to believe, but to watch; not simply to love, but to watch; not simply to obey, but to watch. To watch for what? For that great event, Christ's coming... We seem to see a special duty enjoined on us, such as does not naturally come into our minds. 

Most of us have a general idea what is meant by believing, fearing, loving, and obeying; but perhaps we do not contemplate or apprehend what is meant by watching… 

He watches for Christ who has a sensitive, eager, apprehensive mind; who is awake, alive, quick-sighted, zealous in seeking and honouring him; who looks out for him in all that happens… And he watches with Christ (Mt 26,38), who, while he looks on to the future, looks back on the past, and does not so contemplate what his Saviour has purchased for him, as to forget what he has suffered for him. He watches with Christ, whoever commemorates and renews in his own person Christ's Cross and Agony, and gladly takes up that mantle of affliction which Christ wore here, and left behind him when he ascended. 

And hence in the Epistles, as often as the inspired writers show their desire for his second coming, as often do they show their memory of his first, and never lose sight of his crucifixion in his resurrection… If he speaks to the Corinthians of "waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ," (1Cor 1,7-8) he also speaks of "always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body" (2Cor 4,10)… Thus the thought of what Christ is, must not obliterate from the mind the thought of what he was… And the same union of opposite thoughts is impressed on us in Holy Communion, in which we see Christ's death and resurrection together, at one and the same time; we commemorate the one, we rejoice in the other; we make an offering, and we gain a blessing. 

This then is to watch; to be detached from what is present, and to live in what is unseen; to live in the thought of Christ as he came once, and as he will come again; to desire his second coming, from our affectionate and grateful remembrance of his first.

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)