Stay awake! Be prepared! We truly do not know the day or hour that the Lord will come, nor how or through who/what circumstances. We have several options of how to approach this text. We could be anxious about this, so anxious that we spin in our minds and miss the gentle suggestions God offers us on how to be prepared or watch for grace. We could ignore the warning, the way we are able to ignore the suffering of those that are marginalized or experiencing violence.

We could also approach this as a reminder of the endless opportunities we have to encounter God. We can treat every person we encounter with respect and dignity, as we might encounter grace through them. We can meet the joyful times recognizing those moments as gifts so we might savor the grace we receive. We can meet challenges with an acknowledgement of our struggles, as well as the confidence that God is present within those times.

We can encounter those who are suffering from violence and hatred as a call to respond and seek to build the Kingdom. An element of Ignatian spirituality is the call to “Find God in All Things.” Today’s reading invites us to seek and find God in all things, so we might quiet the anxiety and indifference that prevents us from staying awake to the movement of God in our world.

—Lauren Schwer is the Associate Director of Campus Ministry at Loyola University Chicago.