|by Angela Lambert|
November 15th, 2015; 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel Mark 13:24-32
Jesus said to his disciples: “In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. “And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky. “Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
A deeply spiritual friend of mine, made a comment once that has stuck with me – she said we must work to keep the invisible world visible. As a busy wife, homeschooling mother of eight, and one who practices charity toward anyone in need, she of all people knows how easy it is to be consumed by the tasks in front of us and forget about the invisible reality of God and the angels. Even in our work for God we can miss the forest for the trees. Moreover, our wounded human nature all too easily loses the spiritual perspective and succumbs to fear in times of distress, pride in hopes of honor, and avarice in the pursuit of making a living. Making time to meet with her always makes the invisible world more visible for me. I am left feeling energized and filled with joy and hope. Jesus promises that if we seek first the kingdom of God, all things shall be added (Matthew 6:33). I truly believe this to be the case and have experienced it in my own life.
God revealed His name to Moses as YHWH, which means “I AM” or “I AM WHO AM” (Exodus 3:13-15). The Church Fathers explain that God revealed that He is existence. He is reality. All that is real has its existence in God. If therefore, we center our lives on doing God’s will, we can be confident about our decisions. At some point, what seems real will come to an end. The sun, moon, stars, and earth only exist as long as God holds them in existence. God has revealed that at an hour only known to Him, they will pass away. This should only strike fear in our hearts if we were depending on the sun to rise tomorrow for our happiness. If Christ is our happiness, this will be a magnificent moment. Imagine being one of the “elect,” one of Christ’s lambs whom He promises to send out the angels to gather. The laws of science are temporary. The author of those laws is eternal. The sun may or may not rise tomorrow, but Christ is certain to gather those He loves who love Him in return. Let’s be intentional about keeping the invisible world visible and develop into true realists.
- Reflect on this quote by Pope Benedict XVI. What is the true definition of realism?
|Even more, the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality. We must change our notion that matter, solid things, things we can touch, is the most solid, the most certain reality. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one’s life: sand and rock. He who builds on sand only builds on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will vanish. We can see this now with the fall of two large banks: this money disappears, it is nothing. And thus all things, which seem to be the true realities we can count on, are only realities of a secondary order. Who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality. Therefore, we must change our concept of realism. The realist is he who recognizes the Word of God, in this apparently weak reality, as the foundation of all things. Realist is he who builds his life on this foundation, which is permanent. Thus the first verses of the Psalm invite us to discover what reality is and how to find the foundation of our life, how to build life. (Synod on the Word of God, October 2008)|
- What or who do you depend on to feel secure? Why?
- How might you keep the invisible world visible?
- Imagine what it would be like to see Christ or His angel coming to bring you to heaven, gathered together with all those who praise God’s name.
Make a Resolution (Practical Application):
- Schedule time with a friend who inspires you in the spiritual life.
- Listen to religious podcasts that raises your mind (and perspective) to God.
- Suggestions: Bishop Barron wordonfire.org; Fr. Gallagher discerninghearts.com; see if your parish has podcasts of your priest’s homilies (more and more do)
- Spend 5-10 minutes reading Scripture or a spiritual book.
- Hang religious art or sayings in your home. This can be as simple as writing inspiring Scripture passages down and placing them where you might see them everyday.
~ Written by Angela Lambert © 2015
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