Posted by: fvbcdm | October 22, 2015

Feast of Pope Saint John Paul II (22 Oct 2015)

We are coming into that part of the Church year in which the focus of attention in the liturgy is upon what is called eschatology. It comes from the Greek word meaning “the last things.” And in our Catholic catechism, “the last things” are death, judgment, heaven, and hell.

When we speak of death, we usually think of the end of life. But for us, death is much more important than that: it is the moment when Our Lord Jesus Christ comes to meet us as we enter eternal life, and He judges us to see whether we are worthy of heaven, or deserving of hell. And if we are worthy of heaven, then we may well have to undergo some purification in order to enter into total union with God. We call that purification “purgatory.”

There is a Protestant sect called the Seventh-Day Adventists. The word “advent” means “coming.” You see, we Christians live between two comings of Christ our Savior: He came once at the moment of his incarnation — about 2000 years ago. He will come again at the end of our individual lives and then, at the end of time or of all EARTHLY life and the beginning of ETERNAL life for all of us. In that sense, we, too, are Adventists. We look back to the life of Our Lord Jesus Christ on earth. We read the gospels constantly to learn what he said and did; we celebrate those words and deeds of his in our prayer life, especially in the Mass and other Sacraments, and then we look forward to his coming at the end.

Lately, we have been hearing Jesus remind us that we don’t know when we are going to die, and therefore it is terribly important that we be ready at all times for his coming — his new “advent.” I often think that it is appropriate for the U.S. Marines to have chosen as their motto: SEMPER FIDELIS (always faithful) and the U.S. Coast Guard to choose as their motto: SEMPER PARATUS (always ready.) Just as those two watchwords are appropriate for those branches of the military service, they are appropriate for us in our lives as we await the coming of Christ at the end of our life on earth. We want to be ALWAYS FAITHFUL and ALWAYS READY. We want to obey his injunctions in the gospels to be awake, alert, ready for his coming so that we can welcome him with open arms and hearts, and joyfully go with him into the eternal Kingdom of God, His father and ours. Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.

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