A Message from Monsignor Jay…
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
This week’s scripture readings present us with the expected perilous events when earthly time and existence comes to an end: cataclysmic events of nature, unsurpassed distress among nations, and a time of judgment without excuses. Jesus warns us that we do not determine when time ends and the universe ceases. God makes that decision just as he made the decision to create time, the universe, and all that exists within it. The best way to prepare for the end of earthly time is to live in the present remembering that God created us to live eternally and that Jesus promised to be with us until earthly time runs out. Then we hope that we will be with him for all eternity.
The events that we are told about could strike fear in the heart of any person. In the gospels, Jesus teaches that faith is the opposite of fear. Our preparation for the End is a life of faith that allows us to face the challenges of each day with hope and trust in the providential love of God for us that is revealed in the life death and resurrection of Jesus. Our daily prayers, our reading of scripture, our sacrificial acts of charity, and our refusal to be defined by the things that hurt us and strike fear and anger in our hearts develop within us a freedom to trust in God’s providential grace and wisdom that banishes fear from our lives.
The second stage of our preparation is the development of a grateful heart. Read the lives of the saints and you will discover that their grateful hearts are the source of their endurance in the face of resistance and opposition. Their grateful hearts provided hope when times were bleak. Their gratitude for God’s love gave them strength in the face of crushing opposition, the vision to see beyond what others thought to be impossible, and the wisdom to accomplish God’s will through their lives.
Living with gratitude provides the strength to face every challenge that we meet in life. It assures us that the Lord is with us now and at the end of time. He is our Redeemer and Shepherd. If we trust in him there is nothing to fear in the present time or at the end of time. God is in charge. Trust in his love for us.
Speaking of challenges, this week there was great disappointment and anger as the Vatican asked our bishops to postpone their vote on the proposed policies addressing the accountability and discipline of bishops regarding sexual abuse and misconduct. Personally, I don’t think we should let this turn of events turn us against the bishops or Pope Francis. This is a case of keeping the horse in front of the cart. It is better to wait until the church’s universal consultation on this in February. It will provide a broader context in which our bishops can determine our national policies. This is what it means to be One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. We work and serve in communion with the Holy Father and the Churches throughout the world. Together we seek and find the wisdom of God to heal and guide us in the future. Continue to pray for all victims and for a just resolution of this matter throughout the universal church.
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.
May God’s Peace be Yours,