Jesus presents two images worthy of contemplation. “Gird your loins.” “Light your lamps.” Both are clear instructions to those desiring to follow Jesus. For nothing serves this mission if we are asleep, unprepared or passively waiting.

There is a lot that holds us back or that keeps us complacent, stuck in the status quo. We are often busy and exhausted. Sometimes uncertain of how others might respond. Fear might even prevent our standing up for what is just, or casting our lot with the poor and marginalized.

However, these images are clear. We are to be vigilant, prepared, and available. Our feet must already be in motion. It’s a call to be actively engaged and committed to realizing the Kingdom of God.

What holds you back? What prevents you from embracing this radical commitment to follow Jesus?

—Matt Ippel, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic in the Midwest Province studying philosophy at the Universidad Antonio Ruiz de Montoya in Lima, Peru.