November 16, 2018
Jesus said to his disciples: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Lk_17:26-37
If there’s one thing about our faith: we can not say that we haven’t been warned enough times about being ready for that second coming of Jesus and our “Final Judgment.” As Jesus tells us today, it was all prefigured throughout the Old Testament.
We see it in God’s warning to Adam and Eve, with their spiritual, life and death choice.
We see it in all the Prophets’ warnings to those unfaithful Israelites, that if they continued ignoring God’s commandments and worshiping foreign Gods, they would again fall into the slavery that God had rescued them from at the hands of Egypt.
And having – even ignored – all of those warnings, the “stiff necked’ Jews then got to witness the loss of their homes, the loss of their Sacred Temple, the deaths of their loved ones, and the total loss of their freedom, as they were carried off into Babylonian exile.
You see just as any good parent constantly warns their children to avoid danger because of their paternal love for them, so, our God doesn’t want us to haphazardly wander through the pitfalls of life without lots and lots of warnings, because of His unconditional love for all of us.
And that’s exactly why He took-on our Form of flesh and blood, by the Name of Jesus. And that’s precisely why Jesus submitted His life into our nasty hands in order to prove to us, unbelieving mortals, that there truly IS more to life, and that there truly is REASON, beyond the warnings of threat, for following His commands.
You see, unlike the 70-year furlough of the Israelites in Babylonian exile, our Final Judgment will be more like the eternal flood of Noah and the damning fires of Sodom and Gomorrah – permanent. And not only will the consequences of our life’s choices be eternal damnation or eternal bliss, but, just like the Prophets’ and Noah’s and Lot’s warnings, there is always that constant, beaconing urgency of an unknown time for that End . . .
It may be our last breath in age. It may be a shocking incident of death at any age. Or it may just be that Second Coming that Jesus, so frequently spoke about.
And what is it that is so urgent for us to do? Jesus tells us to let go of our worship of the body. And that’s not an easy thing to do. But He showed us both the how and why.
HOW, is letting go of our worldly passions that keep us away from God, and instead offer them TO God in thanksgiving: Thank you, God, for this food that keeps me nourished; Thank you, God, for this walker or this cane that helps keep me mobile; Thank you, God, for our community; Thank you, God, for my family; Thank you, God, for my pain, the pain that I offer for YOUR Glory, just as Jesus did!
And WHY do we need to let go of our bodily worship? Because there really is something within us that’s even more important than this flesh, this “tent” as St. Paul calls it. You see, our immortal soul is given that same choice that Adam was given, so long ago. Will it be eternal life or eternal death?
And yet unlike Adam, we have a helper. A helper who, just like us, lived that choice. A helper who promised to answer all of our questions and point us on the right paths. We have Jesus and we have the Holy Spirit. We have the Scriptures and our Saints, and our Church. And we have the Hope and the promise of Love that conquers all adversity.
The question is, beloved: Are WE, and if so, how are we living our part of that promise?
And, How prepared are We for that unexpected day and unknown hour.
Aside from the deepest recesses of our souls, only the Father really knows. But that’s who it matters to most!
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