Are You “Woke?”
Memorial of San Juan de Capistrano
One of the questions being asked these days, especially by the younger people among us is, “Are you ‘woke?’” That is, are you aware of and properly sensitive to the many “isms,” phobias, #MeToo and the other movements of social consciousness and liberation that are popular these days? To be “woke” is to be relevant, on the right side of history, and prepared to promote and receive social change, particularly in favor of groups that have been historically marginalized.
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus challenges his disciples with the same question but with far more eternal consequences. Will they—will we—be those servants who are ready to meet him when he returns? Will we be good stewards of all of the gifts that he has given us, including those mentioned in our passage from the Letter to the Ephesians: restoration through his grace from the alienation wrought by our sin, unity where there has been division, peace, access to the spirit, citizenship in the kingdom, and membership in God’s household, the Church?
Being “woke” as a disciple of Jesus certainly means standing with and behind our brothers and sisters who are on the margins of society and in the Church. But it means a lot more, and it transcends any political ideology or social movement. Jesus calls us to be “woke” not only for this life but even more for the next one. That means girding not only our loins but also our hearts and stoking the inner lamp of faith, hope and love.
Are you ready? –JC