Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Homily Thirty Third Sunday of the Year 15 November 2009

The Roland Emmerich film 2012, which opened Friday,
is the latest outrageous portrayal of an imaginary end to the world
precipitated by catastrophic natural events.

For centuries, the end times have fascinated mankind.
From Nostradamus to the ubiquitous big-city prophet
with his trademark cardboard sign proclaiming “Repent, the end is near,”
there are no end to the predictions of when everything we know
will come to a sudden dramatic and horrific demise.
The dates keep getting moved back as new predictions are made,
each one as certain as the last.

The Scriptures themselves contain similar predictions to the doom-sayers,
and the Bible is indeed the source of many speculations.
The one important difference is that,
while the Scriptures predict signs and wonders, Jesus remains clear:
“You will not know the day nor the hour when they will occur!”

Some Christians who insist on a literal interpretation of the Bible
expect the end of the world to happen just as the Bible describes
but gloss over these words of Jesus as if He never said them at all.

Much of the world speculates and predicts,
while the Church of Jesus Christ performs the more significant task
of preparing vigilant disciples who are always ready to receive Christ.
Jesus offers descriptions of the end times, in order to challenge us to be vigilant,
to keep watch for His coming.
He calls us to be prepared every day,
so that His coming will not catch us by surprise.

When we watch TV, listen to music, engage in conversation, spend money,
would we be proud or ashamed of our actions if Jesus appeared next to us.
If He came in his glory today, right now, would He be pleased by our words,
our actions, the thoughts of our hearts.

We do not know when the world will end, or even when our own life will end,
but we do know that if we are vigilant and steadfast in faith,
we need not fear death nor the coming of Christ.

As we keep watch with Christ in this life,
we are comforted by Jesus’ assurance: “My words will not pass away!”

If the stock market crashed…if the dollar plummeted in value…
if our favorite store went out of business…
if our cell phone lost service and we couldn’t text our friends…
if people we loved betrayed us…
even if everything we have ever known and depended on was taken away
the Word of God will not ever pass away!

That is something no filmmaking artistry can portray…
yet we ourselves have known the presence of God deep in our hearts
and in the sacramental life of the Church.
We have all had experiences when we have been certain
that God was alive and present to us, and when His love changed us.

God’s words…revealed in Scripture and the teaching of the Church…
are the eternal truths which form the foundation of our human existence.

We continually seek to know and absorb those truths, which do not pass away,
to know and live the teaching of Christ,
which gives us strength and direction.

God’s Word does not pass away! The Church is always teaching!
His love is forever!
He is always speaking His Word in the depths of our hearts,
and forming us into pure servants of Christ,
ready to stand aright and by counted among the blessed ones
when He comes at last in glory!

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