mercredi, décembre 06, 2006

Sermon for the 24th Sunday

The Bible ends with a call, full of hope, a call to Our Lord Jesus Christ: Come Lord Jesus! There is no doubt that Saint John, the beloved disciple, desired from the depth of his heart to see his dear Master again. The first Christians, those who had seen and known Jesus, those who has heard him preach, those who had shared His life were impatient to see Him again. It is certain, He will come again, because He told them He would and He cannot be wrong. But when will He come back?

The Christian community needed some time to understand that He might not come back soon. In fact, Jesus was not very clear: A little while, and now you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me: because I go to the Father. The disciples who were there wondered: What is this that he saith, A little while? we know not what he speaketh.
A little while! It is supposed to be a short time and yet, 2000 years later, we are still waiting. When will you be back, O Lord?

At the end of the liturgical year, the Church encourages us to renew our hope and our confidence in God. As Saint Paul states, we are partakers of the lot of the saints in light. We have been delivered from the power of darkness, and have been translated into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins.

In our present condition, we are waiting for the full achievement of the Kingdom of God, which will happen at the Last Judgment. At this time the words of Psalm 84 will be entirely fulfilled: Mercy and truth have met each other: justice and peace have kissed. Truth is sprung out of the earth: and justice hath looked down from heaven. For the Lord will give goodness: and our earth shall yield her fruit. Justice shall walk before him: and shall set his steps in the way.

The second coming of Our Lord is therefore something good and desirable. We should pray more often for its realization. We should desire it with more intensity. It is true that this time will be preceded by terrible events as Jesus says in today’s gospel. But the disciples have nothing to fear, unlike the enemies of Christ. They will have a good reason to fear and we should already be praying for them so that they may obtain the grace of conversion they will need.

For us, the thought of the end times means the end of sin and this is a very peaceful thought. It means the coming of Our Lord in His glory, it is a hopeful and comforting thought. But we must be found just by the time this day arrives. And only God can justify us, by His grace.

Saint Louis Marie de Montfort composed a canticle, among many others, about the Divine Grace and he invites us to seek the Grace of Jesus Christ before it is too late. It should be our unique concern, because all the rest is ordered for this. A good job, a nice wife, a beautiful house, money and whatever you may want could be useful, but only if we use them well as means in order to serve God, but if we use them in a wrong manner by making them our gods, they will be our unique rewards now, and later, our motive of condemnation. And anyway, we should keep in mind that we will have to give up everything at the end of our life. Everything!

We should be more inspired to follow this recommendation of Jesus: Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal.

Dear Brethren, I wish we could understand better that there is an imperishable treasure, which is Jesus Christ Himself. His Sacred Heart is the source of all benefits and kindnesses that we receive from His liberality.

A new liturgical year will start Saturday. Let us turn to Our Lady so that we can benefit from this new liturgical year by following Jesus in the mysteries of the Incarnation and of the Redemption. Then, He will introduce us into the great mystery of the Trinity. The richness of the traditional liturgical calendar will help us to meditate throughout the year on these mysteries and to strengthen our Faith, Hope and Charity so that we can be ready for our future meeting with Our Lord Jesus Christ.

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