Some Christians routinely (and incorrectly) announce the return of Christ; they seem to forget that Jesus clearly said that no one, not even “He” knew when it would happen! And yet there are those who continue to claim to know the date and time: remember the billboards “Jesus is coming on May 21st” that dotted the highways five or ten 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 living presence within us and running, like a river, through our daily lives and filling 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 days.
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.
And part of “being ready” is standing up to injustices, speaking out against all forms of abuse, misogyny, racism and bigotry, and recognizing the dignity of all women, children and men of all colors and races and religious beliefs! And I believe we best can do that when we keep God at the center of our daily lives. We can stand with our sisters, our children and our brothers who are bullied, abused and exploited. When we do this, we actively build up the Reign of God in the here and now. “We stand ready” and we more fully live out our identity as the “beloved of God”!
Let us all go forth embracing our identity as the beloved of God. Allow that identity to transform our lives and for us to transform the world around us into a more peace-filled, more just and all-embracing world!