November 15, 2019
(St. Albert the Great, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)
All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God, and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is, and from studying the works did not discern the artisan; But either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water, or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods. Wis_13:1-9
Jesus said, “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it. I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left.” They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.” Lk_17:26-37
It was one of those high-speed, action video games, where the enemy pops up out of nowhere, and takes away one of our limited, three-lives. If we reacted too quickly we will have wasted our chance, and lost a life. And if we reacted too slowly, we will have been obliterated – before we even knew what happened. And in between, there are gads and gads of distractions – to take our Focus OFF the Goal.
But there’s always that third option. The option that takes a little effort. The option that takes a little practice, that takes a little wisdom. You see, it’s in those “Instructions,” where the answer is found; those Instructions that most people never even glance at, where that third redeeming option is clearly spelled out. There, in big bright letters, it reads: “Be Prepared.”
Now, if we were to move this scenario to our Scripture readings today, we’ll see the exact same concept. We’ll see that our Goal is the Kingdom or Reign of God. We’ll see that the enemy is the Devil or Satan, and that our distractions are all of those “things” of the world. Things that satisfy our bodily cravings.
You see, the reason that they are distractions, is because they’re so absolutely wonderful to our senses . . . All the sights and tastes and smells, the beauty of nature, the wonder of touch. All of God’s awesome Creation, that we could so easily worship instead of God.
Do you remember when color television first came out? It was so incredibly beautiful, after all those years of drab black and white, that we just couldn’t take our eyes off it. And over time, it reeled us into the sin of ignoring our spouses and our children, for all its beauty. It reeled us into buying things we couldn’t afford and probably didn’t need anyway. It reeled us into worship!
And it led us into becoming a society where no one even talks to one another any more, without doing it through a screen. In the meantime, we just lost two more lives, rather than keeping our focus on the Goal, on our God.
Jesus tells His disciples and everyone who will listen to Him, to read and reread that Instruction Book. And that Book IS Him!
If we can keep our focus OFF the distractions. And that doesn’t mean not appreciating them, for all the beauty they give us as God’s Creations, but just, to keep them in their proper perspective.
And IF we can keep our focus on the Goal, on that Kingdom that Jesus initiated in the hear-and-now; the Kingdom of Love for God and for our neighbor.
And IF we can stay Prepared, knowing the distractions, and knowing the insidious attacks of the Evil one – to get us off track. Then, not only will we survive, with ALL of our lives intact, but God will welcome us – when His Time – for our reunion comes.
Jesus made the point, over and over again, to Be Prepared NOW and to know that the Kingdom of God is in our midst.
He told us not to worry or fret about a particular time for His final coming, and not to seek out signs or warnings. Because, if we think we can wait until the end – to get prepared, then our one-time shot will be too late. And if we think we can fill our minds with all the theology, and religion, and adoration, and rosaries, that we can stand, then, that’s all nice, but it’s still missing the point, as well.
All Jesus wants of us – is to live our lives, to live this Kingdom – in Love with Him and with one another. And to allow the Holy Spirit to be our Shield of Bodily and Spiritual protection. For with that Shield, He will guarantee our destiny AT His Table and IN His Kingdom – FOREVER.
____________________end of post