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November 17

FOCUS:  The heavens proclaim the glory of God.


00:00 / 03:26

Today’s Gospel is a continuation from yesterday of Jesus’ words to the disciples about the second coming of the Son of Man (i.e. Jesus).

This anticipation of Our Lord’s second coming is an essential part of our faith.  During the Mass after the consecration the people acclaim, “When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come again.”  St. Bernard spoke of the three arrivals of our Lord: his earthly life, his hidden presence within us, and, finally, his arrival at the end of time.  Advent anticipates the first coming and the end of the liturgical year anticipates the final coming. But the point of Jesus’ words to the disciples, and us, is to make us aware of His daily presence within us.

When will the Lord finally come?  Are we close? The Church has persistently taught us that while Our Lord’s coming is imminent, “‘it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.’  This eschatological coming could be accomplished at any moment, even if both it and the final trial that will precede it are ‘delayed’” (CCC 673).  The Lord will return, but we do not know when.  We should not worry so much about the end of the world, but rather prepare ourselves daily for a holy life and a peaceful death.

Jesus concludes this teaching with a very graphic saying, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather." Jesus uses the body to symbolize our life on earth. While we live, the evil forces of Satan in the world try to make us to turn away from God’s presence within our heart and soul. When we become spiritually “dead” and turn to living in sin, the world will methodically devour us, worldly desire by worldly desire, false promise by false promise.

But if we are rooted in a profound and trusting friendship with Christ, we will fear neither death nor the end of the world.  Then, with St. Paul, we too will proclaim: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  If it is to be life in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me.  Yet… My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:21-23).

Let’s not worry about when we will die, or when Jesus will come again. Let’s spend our time here on earth in communion with Him who is present within us.

Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection

Who will be the Lord of your time and your life today?

Source for today’s reflection:

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