It’s like a man going away. He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge , each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back .... If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ (Mark 13.35-7)
Over the centuries there have been many self-styled ‘prophets’ claiming to know when and how the world will end, and frightening many gullible souls into believing that the apocalypse is imminent.
Yet Jesus tells his disciples that even he does not know when this will happen. When he calls us to ‘watch’, to be alert, he is not suggesting that we should be in a permanent state of fear and anxiety, but rather that we should lead our lives in such a way that we need not be ashamed or fearful whenever God may call us - whether at the Last Day or at the time of our own death.
A wonderful old lady I once knew used to say, ‘I’m in no hurry, but I’m ready when he comes for me’.
May God grant us such a faith.