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Uh oh, Two-Minute Warning

November 21, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013, Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time:

Wisdom 13:1-9. For if they so far succeeded in knowledge that they could speculate about the world, how did they not more quickly find its Lord?
Luke 17:26-37. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

Gospel Reflection:

Praise be to Jesus Christ! For evermore!

It’s going to rain today. So since I walk to work from the train, I wore sturdy shoes that would keep my feet dry. And, as I am leading a Communion Service today, I at least wanted to wear a dress shirt. And one of our outstanding Command teammates is trying to instill spirit at work with, Wear-a-Tie-to-Work Day, so here it is. But I am doing computer installations, crawling under desks, and dust and dropped food, so instead of ruining a pair of slacks, I wore jeans. I think I have it all covered. And that’s what we try to do, isn’t it?! Just in case, I will try to cover all the bases.

Eschatology. Big fancy word. From the Greek, ἔσχατος, it is the Study of the Last Things. The Day of Reckoning. Judgment Day. Just the mere mention of it drives everyone wild with speculation, opinion, and argument. From the most devout Christian to the most adamant Atheist. Even Christian denominations cannot agree on the meaning and details! Sheesh!

Behold, the kingdom of God is among you.

Yesterday, the Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God would come. And tellingly, he replies, as in his Proclamation, “behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” It won’t be observed. It won’t be announced. It just is.

They don’t get it.

Today we hear these extreme examples explaining what it will be like at the coming of the Son of Man. And to be honest, it is a little overwhelming. So it was for the people in the time of Noah, so it shall be. So it was for Lot and his wife, so it shall be! And so it shall be with two people, that only one shall be taken. So. It. Shall. Be.

We as a people are so hung up on procedure, on keeping to the schedule, the plan, that we miss the whole point. We as a culture, look at the Last Days as… the Two-Minute Warning. The 24 second shot clock. The Ninth inning. The Final Lap. The buzzer goes off and we think, uh oh, better get holy. Better get in good with the Lord! I know, that we all know people who think like that. CATHOLICS that think like that! ‘Well, the end of the world is predicted for Tuesday. I wonder if Father is going to be available for confessions Monday? And so it goes.

The irony is that we already know when it is going to happen. It is happening right now; “behold, the kingdom of God is among you.” We need to be doing as Christ commanded, as Christ taught, as Christ demonstrated. Now, not waiting until the two-minute warning buzzes. Is it difficult some days? Yes. Is it completely misunderstood by many in the world? Yes! Does the Lord understand this? YES! We do not need to seek signs to predict the end, but be ready for it. How? The same Spirit that led Jesus to the Cross to glory is even now being sent to the Church by the glorified Lord. The Church – US – experiences the same journey through suffering and persecution and catastrophe and sorrow to that eventual glory. One needs to be decisive when faced with hard questions, one needs to be dedicated to the Will of God in our lives. And we do know when it will happen: It will happen at the coming of the Lord. Not an ‘IF’ but a when. Be ready. Prepare yourself.

God bless you,
Papa

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