Today’s Gospel is very short, but it sets out for us a basic Christian attitude towards life. The servant who is waiting through the night for the return of the master should not be dressed in pajamas and comfortably asleep. A sleeping servant could answer the knock at the door after being awakened from sleep. Yet Jesus calls us to do much more. Christians are called to be awake, dressed for work, and waiting at the door with the lamps shining in the dark. This is the service that each Christian provides individually in the midst of a local community and larger Church. Always dedicating themselves to service to others by carrying the light through the long night.
Many people live their lives separated from God and others. They are the sleepers in the dark – whether they are actually evil people who base their lives on selfishness, greed, and violence or just people who are uninformed or uncaring or disorientated.
Many who call themselves Christians have the attitude of a sleeping servant. My life is fine. I am a good person. I’ve completed my personal duties. I am right with my God. Now I can put on my pajamas and sleep. There is no service and there is no light in that kind of life.
Being Christian is giving the sign of service for all others to see. Today’s Gospel is clear: being Christian is being of service to others and being a light.