However, despite the darkness of the times in which we live, today’s celebration gives us a time to rejoice.
Our part is to be prepared. Our Lord will come again, and He means business. As John the Baptist says in today’s Gospel (Luke 3:10-18): "His [Our Lord’s] winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat
John the Baptist knew the power of the One who was coming and has come into our world. John the Baptist says, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
My brothers and sisters, although John the Baptist prepared the people for Our Lord’s first coming, it is Jesus' Second Coming that awaits the fulfillment of John the Baptist’s ministry.
In today’s Gospel the crowds ask John the Baptist, “What should we do?”
As you are aware, Pope Francis has called for a year of mercy. This is the year to ask for the mercy of God upon our societies and world today. We need conversion. We need change of hearts because the world is at a critical moment in history. Things are going to continue to get worse, and in these last days God wants to save as many souls as possible.
Most of you are aware of the life of Saint Faustina, who was asked by Jesus to spread the devotion to His Divine Mercy. Saint Faustina was a young uneducated nun who lived in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland during the 1930s. She came from a poor family that struggled during the years of World War I.
St. Faustina Kowalska,
The Apostle of Divine Mercy
My brothers and sisters, we are living in the last days of this present world, and Our Lord is coming again to judge heaven and earth. He will gather the wheat into his barn and the chaff He will burn in a fire that will never go out.
God doesn’t want to bring judgment upon the world. In fact, He doesn’t bring judgment. We bring judgment upon ourselves. God sent His Son to save those who answer His call to repentance. That is God's merciful love.
Repentance is the key to mercy. There are many in our Church today who follow a false mercy. They think that God will have mercy on us even though we continue to live a sinful lifestyle that contradicts God’s teaching and the teaching of the Church He has given to us. Do not follow this lie, brothers and sisters. Do not presume to receive God’s mercy!
Our Lord is coming again, and we need to prepare. Until our Lord comes, we will have more difficulties. Things will get worse, and they will get worse quickly! We will struggle as the darkness of this world becomes darker.