Today we begin the first week of Advent
You may recall two weeks ago that we read in the Gospel of Mark a similar message as in today’s Gospel (Luke 21: 25-28, 34-36). Our Lord spoke about what will take place at the end of the age. He told us to pay attention to the signs of the times. He said, “Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates.”
Today’s Gospel also emphasizes the signs which will take place at the end of time shortly before Our Lord comes again.
However, today Our Lord teaches us -- not only the signs -- but what we must do. He says that we must be vigilant!
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
My brothers and sisters, we are called to be on guard, to stay awake, and be strong in our faith. We don’t know the day or the hour when Our Lord is going to come, but we must be prepared. We must be vigilant!
Our Lord will come at a time when many are not prepared. He says, “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.”
At the time of His second coming it will be as in the time of Noah. People were marrying, eating and drinking up until the time Noah
It was a similar situation to the times of Sodom and Gomorrah. God rained fire and brimstone upon that city and no one escaped except Lot and his family. Amid the arrogance and shamelessness of the city, Lot was the only one found worthy to escape.
My brothers and sisters, the story of the Great Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah should be a wakeup call for us today! The destruction was brought upon these cities and nations because they turned away from God! They indulged in rivalry and lust and practiced unnatural vice on a large scale.
In this time we need to seek the wisdom of God because history repeats itself!
Often when speaking of the end times many today will say something like, “Oh, people have always been saying that the end is near… It won’t happen in my lifetime.”
When tragedy hit on 9-11, how many people were dazed and confused. Again, when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, most of the people of New Orleans probably had no idea that over 80 percent of their city would be under water!
We don’t know the day or the hour when our Lord is going to come, but we live in uncertain times, and today’s Gospel teaches us to be on guard, stay awake, and be strong in our faith.
If you were at one of the Masses where Deacon Paul preached last weekend, you may recall that he spoke about God’s remnant. The remnant people are those persons who strive to stay faithful to God while living in an unfaithful society and culture. In the Book of Revelation, the remnant are described as those “who do not defile themselves with [men or] woman… On their lips no deceit is found; they are unblemished.”
|The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah|
God is calling us to be His remnant people. He is calling those, who stay vigilant in keeping God’s commandments and bearing witness to Jesus, to be the first fruits of the new world to come. Let us be Our Lord’s faithful remnant people. Let us be vigilant and pray we have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and stand before the Son of Man.
|The ordination of Fr. John Paul Shea to the priesthood|