Jesus pulls an all-nighter in today’s gospel (Luke 6:12-19). Was it worth it? Consider: if He had consulted you beforehand, would you have discouraged Him? Would you have told Him that all things must be done in moderation, and that it is important to get a good night’s sleep? Should he have planned more carefully?
His all-nighter was, in fact, entirely optional. Jesus was not guarding any persons or property. He did not have to finish a term-paper before a deadline. He was not attending to a sick person. He was not partying hard. He was praying. He chose to give up a night of sleep in exchange for some higher good. Likewise, the guard, the student, the nurse, the partier: each of them perceives some good that is worth more to them than a night of sleep. What, then, was the good that Jesus perceived? We don’t know what the exact contents were of His prayer that night. All we know is that when His vigil on the mountain was over, he chose twelve men and named them apostles.
You don’t have to be a monk or a nun to give up a little of your sleep in exchange for God’s greater glory. For most of us, it is enough of a sacrifice to pray before retiring and upon rising. But, it might be worth it occasionally to find ways to pray more, perhaps while on retreat, or at a parish with all-night adoration. Some things are better than sleeping. “Therefore it says ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.’”