Remember the “Jesus is coming on May 21st” billboards that dotted the highways a few years ago? In today’s 2nd reading, St Paul warns that the end will come like a “thief in the night,” and “knowing” when Christ will come is not the point…but rather it is all about being ready when Christ returns! Am I ready?
At the center of the readings is a message of total reliance upon the unbelievable mercy and boundless love of God. It is about keeping our hearts and minds open to God’s presence in our daily lives and in the world around us! The psalmist reminds us that God is our portion and cup, our inherence and therefore our hearts are glad and our souls rejoice…for we are God’s beloved! By keeping God at the center of our daily lives we indeed will be ready if the world were to end in our times. Because of the love and mercy of our God we need not fear “the end” for we will be transformed into beings that shine like the stars in the heavens! Through Christ we have inherited eternal life and each of us is a part of “the great cloud of witnesses” who give glory to God.
I cannot fail to mention that we find ourselves in a moment of a report of outrageous, inappropriate and unacceptable abuse by the former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick who joins other clerics and lay men who used their positions of power to abuse women, children and even other men. Part of “being ready” is standing up to injustices, speaking out against all forms of abuse, misogyny, racism and bigotry, recognizing the dignity of all women, children and men of all colors and races and creeds! And I believe we best can do that when we keep God at the center of our daily lives. When we stand with our sisters, our children and our brothers who have been abused and exploited, we actively build up the Reign of God in the here and now, “we stand ready”, we more fully live out our identity as the Body of Christ!