Thursday, August 25, 2016

Prepare For His Coming

Therefore, you too must stand ready because the Son of Man
is coming at an hour you do not expect.
I thought the reflection in The Better Part on today’s Gospel was very good.  It talked about Christ’s three comings --- originally at His incarnation, continually through the Liturgy, and His Second Coming.  It spoke of them as having the purpose of reestablishing and deepening our friendship with God.  But then it went on to say that even now Christ wishes to be with us each day, and is so in the Eucharist.  “At each Mass, every day, He longs to take up fresh lodging in our hearts; His only hope is that there will be some room at the inn.”
Considering how superficially those (above) Gospel words are usually taken --- “oh, the writer’s referring to the Second Coming, whenever …” --- I thought The Better Part’s reflection made the Gospel more relevant. 
Then I heard Fr. Tom’s homily at mass this morning.
Fr. Tom reminded us that the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus Christ remains present with us on earth TODAY in three ways:  in His Word, in the Eucharist, and in the Church, i.e., the Body of Christ.  He said that while today’s Gospel is often seen as referencing Christ’s Second Coming to earth, it could also be seen as our death and our going to Him.  For neither do we know the hour.  However, he said, we must not forget that He is also present in the Body of Christ, the Church.  That’s us.  And sometimes, at a day or hour we do not know, He does come to us through that body --- in that sick person, that poor beggar, or that lonely soul who just needs someone to talk to.  THAT, said Fr. Tom with emphasis, is where we must be on the watch for His coming, and why we must stand ready.  Now!
When we get to the pearly gates and Jesus says “I don’t know you,” it will because of those times, explained Fr. Tom, when He came to us in the form of that needy person, but “we were too busy” to greet Him. 
Remember:  “Stand Ready; He is coming at an hour you do not expect.”  Perhaps today!
And for a few moments, the church was dead silent.  Well done, Fr. Tom.

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