October 11, 2019
(St. John XXIII, Pope)
The Prophet Joel said, “Proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the elders, all who dwell in the land, Into the house of the LORD, your God, and cry to the LORD! Alas, the day! For near is the day of the LORD, and it comes as ruin from the Almighty. Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming;” Jl_1:13-15;2:1-2
Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.” . . . “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Lk_11:15-26
Judgment, Accusation, Condemnation and Annihilation . . .
After a week of hearing about God’s mercy and forgiveness, about prayer, and persistence, and belief, today ‘the rubber hits the road’ as we hear about the consequences of disbelief and rebellion against God, and about the urgency and importance of being prepared.
The writings of the Prophet Joel, that we heard in our First Reading, were especially somber, as Israel, at the time, was under a devastating siege of locusts and life itself was literally ‘in the balance.’
But it was a good reminder of our own need to always be on the alert against both Physical and Spiritual attacks on our lives.
Physically, being prepared for things like fires and earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes, or even direct violence against us.
And Spiritually, being prepared for attacks on our Faith, just as Jesus was attacked, by the skeptics, the Pharisees, and the unbelievers.
After preaching love, healing incurable sicknesses, and expelling demons, the accusation that Jesus was working with Beelzebul or Satan, made absolutely NO sense. And Jesus made that obviously clear in His rebuttal.
Anyone, whether it’s a government or a corporation, or a family, or even our own internal, psychological condition, IF it’s fighting against itself, it will NEVER stand.
And it’s in the weaknesses of those struggles against one’s self, that nations and corporations, families and We are most vulnerable. Without a moral compass, without a strong leader, without authority, and consequence, and urgency, an empty soul will simply be filled with all the evil the world has to offer.
And it’s only by the Grace of God that WE, as Catholic Christians can recognize our Creator and Redeemer and Sanctifier as filling all of those needs.
Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me.”
You see, beloved, when we are with Jesus, both here in community and out there in the world, we ARE that moral compass, that strong leader, that reminder of the importance, the consequence and the urgency of Faith in God, just as Joel and all the Prophets were!
We are God’s messengers, sent to save a world, lost in its own emptiness. And we can be very proud of that Mission. It may not always be easy. It will take prayer, persistence and strong belief, even in the face of opposition, but for the reward of eternal salvation, for the sake of saving souls from eternal damnation, and for the joy of living life, filled with the Holy Spirit, both now and forever – it’s well worth it!
As we come to His Table of Life today, allow the Lord Jesus to immerse us in the Joy of being ONE with Him. And let that Joy-in-us be a light to guide our entire day!
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