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COMMANDS OF CHRIST


 

 

BE WATCHFUL

"Be watchful" is a very important command of Christ found in Scriptures. "Be watchful  and pray, lest you enter into temptation; because the devil is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour, because your fight is with principalities and powers."

Our life on earth is likened to night. We need a lamp and have to be watchful.

The lighted lamp is the symbol of complete knowledge of the commands of Christ as found in the New Testament, a result of the apostles' work in "preaching all the commands of Christ and how to observe them." God gives each baptized person this lighted lamp . . . with a little oil that would last up to the time we reach the age of reason. From then on, we have to provide our own oil.

The "watchfulness" Christ is referring to is not watching others around you, but watching the inner man. Solomon said: "Consider your heart at every watch." When you watch, you must look inside yourself and see whether your heart desires the things that Christ has commanded; whether your will and God's will are one. That is watchfulness.

If and when you know all the commands of Christ, which is rare these days, and if your heart's desire is to do God's will, which is even rarer, you still are not considered as watchful. You need oil, that had run out when you reached the age of reason; you need plenty of oil-- enough to light your lamp until you die or until the end of the world, whichever comes first. 

The oil is obedience to the commands of Christ. If you know all the teachings of Christ and desire from your heart to do God's will, you will surely act on those commands. Every time you obey the commands of Christ, you increase your supply of oil . . . hopefully to last you till the end. 

The Gospel tells us of two kinds of virgins: the foolish and the wise. The foolish virgins apparently knew all the commands of Christ--desired in their hearts to do only God's will, had oil . . . but the oil was not enough. It didn't quite last till the end. The wise virgins also knew all the commands of Christ--desired in their hearts to do only God's will, had oil . . . but had oil up to the end.

Take note what the wise virgins told the foolish ones when the latter asked for oil because their lamps were going out: "Our oil is not enough for us and for you." The meaning is this: Whatever God has given us--money, possessions, sufferings, virtues and even our own prayer and fasting--are just enough for our salvation. But if in some way we waste some of them, then we really don't have enough for both. "Each one will be judged by his own righteous deeds" . . . by his own oil and not by the deeds of others. So go to the stores and obtain your own oil . . . now. 

Everything that God has given us must be used in accordance to the commands of Christ, i.e., for our eternal salvation. If we ever use them for other worldly purposes, for indulging in the pleasures of the world, stuck in business, for sinful acts, to give in to our lust, gluttony and anger, as inheritance for our children's enjoyment, etc. . . we have wasted our opportunities and will surely run out of oil. But then, we probably don't even know the commands of Christ and our hearts' desire is nowhere close to the will of God. Then, not only do we not have oil, we do not even  have a lighted lamp nor are we spiritual virgins . . .thus, surely, we shall be caught unprepared by death or by the second coming of Christ. And the words we shall hear from Christ are: "I know you not."

 

 

(10-21-02)

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