Jesus is coming.
He came on Christmas, 20 centuries ago. He will come at the end of time. We just heard him say that. And so he says, “Watch!”
In between his coming as a child, and his final coming as Judge, he comes as a Savior and Redeemer; he comes as a Shepherd of his Flock.
Jesus comes to us constantly in our lives. He’s here now—always!
If we wonder where Jesus is, ask him to help you see.
Perhaps we want what the first reading asked for: “Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down,with the mountains quaking before you”—then we’d believe!
then we’d get our act together!
Then perhaps politicians would stop wasting tax money building their own petty kingdoms;perhaps then folks in Columbus would be concerned, not only about jobs in the big cities, but in places like Piqua, too? Then nations that sit on top of the pile would change their ways, their trade laws and trade barriers, so that poor nations of the world could prosper, too?
“Oh, that Christ would rend the heavens and come!”
Then, perhaps, our drowsing conscience would wake up: this society, the most well-off in history! And yet it has no room! No room for more life, more children, larger families; no room for unborn children who are inconvenient, who are disabled, who are imperfect.
Yet, paradoxically, we have room for a “fertility” industry, creating babies in laboratories; but no room for the “surplus embryos”—tiny human beings!—created to meet human needs, then, cast aside, unneeded: and these unborn, tiny human beings
are being destroyed—now!—as raw material for research. When you hear about “embryonic stem-cell research,” that’s what they’re talking about.
What you don’t hear is that there are alternate ways to do this very same research,
without destroying life.
Meanwhile, we do have room for an entertainment culture and businesses that sell products to us, as they congratulate our worst qualities, and mock our best values.
If you turn on the TV, or the Internet, how long before you see advertising from companies like Abercrombie, or a network like MTV; or prime-time shows, or soap operas; that despise decency; that ridicule morality?
There’s not even time to talk about some of the music that is degrading.
How do I say this? You know what Santa says: “Ho, ho, ho”? That means something very different and very ugly, when it comes to a lot of the music pitched to kids.
We have room for this massive, kid-targeting industry: bad enough these companies
pick our children’s pockets; but along the way, they steal their innocence, too.
They lie to our young people about their worth, and what their inner life is really all about.
“Oh, that Jesus would rend the heavens and come!”
No. The Lord is here already; and always.
Why does Our Lord delay his coming? Because he’s waiting for us!
What did we hear St. Paul say a moment ago? “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ”! “…[I]n him you were enriched in every way,
with all discourse and all knowledge…so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“He will keep you firm to the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Prophet Isaiah said, Lord, help us do and be what is right! Have mercy! And St. Paul answers: He has! He’s here—in you!
Whatever help we might want God to send, to help us change ourselves, and our world—
It’s here already! Whatever the world needs, so it can see Jesus: it’s all here, already—in us!
The power and gifts we need are here. We call them Sacraments; we call them Grace: when Jesus baptizes us; when he confirms us; when he bathes us in his mercy
in the Sacrament of Confession; when he feeds us with his own Body and Blood!
When he empowers us in our vocation in life, when he stands with us in times of sickness and crisis.
Jesus is already, in our midst, in us! How much the world believes that depends on how much you and I believe it—and live accordingly.
You and I come to this sacred moment, the Mass, not by human will, but by Divine Appointment. He brought us here, because He is here. This is the moment—right now!—
to say to him:
“Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.”