Mt 24: 37-44 As It Was
What should be my attitude during this time of Advent? How should I prepare for the Christmas Season? This Advent, I plan to have one eye looking with great anticipation towards the joy of our saving Lord; the other, looking at a world without Christ. There should be great joy in anticipation and great sorrow in the reality of life without Christ.
It is easy – too easy. Look at today’s headlines:
Young Somali Ready to Kill Thousands at Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Here is a young man that does not know Christ, and instead of a Christian reaching out to him, and inviting him to know and to love the savior of the world, someone else reached out and grabbed his heart and twisted it.
The Korean Peninsula on the Brink of War! North Korea and its reclusive leaders are responsible for so much bloodshed. The aggression began in the late 60’s and continues today. Back in November of 1987, a bomb, planted by North Korean agents, exploded on a South Korean airliner, killing all passengers and crew on board. In March of this year a South Korean vessel was torpedoed, killing 46 sailors. And now a South Korean island was attacked, by the North, with over one hundred shells, killing at least 2 marines and 2 civilians. North Korea is a nation headed by a communist, totalitarian regime that believes in no God. This is just a glimpse of a world without God.
Not too long ago I attended a dinner with a very nice family. Their eldest son was complaining that he lived in a bubble: Catholic school, catholic friends, etc… The dad explained that his boy has been itching to go to public school for a while now. I asked, “What do you mean by a bubble?” “Well Father, we know that not everyone prays, not everyone has the same beliefs that we do…I want to see what the world is really like!” I told him, “Your world is what you make of it. You choose what world you want to live in, there are hundreds out there!” I told the boy’s father to take him for a ride one of these nights around Dallas. Take a look and see what the world looks like for other 13 year old kids. Take a look and see what they are doing at midnight. Some are sleeping, others are hanging out around 7-11’s with their friends. Others may be in some dark alley shooting up. Some might be living in a shelter or something. Some kid might be at a party while another might be getting beat up or arrested! You don’t live in a bubble. You live in the world you want to live in. There are many worlds out there, no bubbles. St. Paul was much more blunt in Romans 13:11-14.
Advent is a time of deep reflection. Have I lost touch with reality, with Christ? Imagine for a moment a world without the Lord: no forgiveness, mo mercy, no compassion; no selfless love, no faith or hope; no redemptive meaning to sacrifice, pain and suffering; no trust and no high standards. No peace within you! No peace within your borders. No peace within your walls. The Lord says, “Peace be within you!” (cf. Ps. 122:6-8) Last night while I was saying my evening prayers I reflected on how darkness once covered the whole world. What did the Lord say? He said, I know the way out…follow me.
Do you remember this time? Meditate and reflect on it this week. Imagine a world filled with darkness and just a little hint of light. Remember when Christ did not fill your life. The world, my world, was a much darker place before Christ, and world events (and events in my life) help us to remember how dark it actually can get.
St. Paul tells us, “The hour has come for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom 13:11-14). We know that Christ is coming. Now, will he find a place in the Inn? That is, in my heart and in my soul; in my toughts and in my life?
Father, open our hearts and minds to your Son's Love and Truth, so that we can transform our world into His kingdom. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.