JULY 23, 2020 THURSDAY
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. — Matthew 25: 34
Someone asked me recently if I thought the world is coming to an end – the return of our Lord. Is all this disease and upheaval a sign? My response — “Don’t know.” I don’t mean to be dismissive or cavalier. I know the question is born of concern and alarm rampant these days. The end — whether cosmic or personal is serious. Spirituality is not an escape from this world, to set our hearts on heaven or afterlife. Spirituality does not ask us to deny the powers of this world – we’re naive to their evil. We are to live in this world, without belonging to it. Our faith centers on the joy and peace of abiding in Christ, first – then among the powers and fears of this present moment. That is true hope.
In Matthew, Jesus clearly indicates where we find him — in the least in this, those suffering, hungry, in poverty and distress, oppressed, without peace and security – in our actions for them. For us as followers of Jesus, that is our work - what we cannot control – how we love and serve one another. We pray and strive to bring God’s kingdom on earth, for the welfare of all God’s children, regardless of who they are. Energy spent in trying to discern the “signs of the times,” distracts us from Jesus’ heart for this world.
Fear not, God is with us, as Jesus said, before departing from the disciples. Even to the end of the age — as we are focused on his commission – go into all the world, baptizing, teaching, embodying his love. This is our inheritance – to live and work right now to do all we can to live God’s kingdom on earth as in heaven. We are a people of hope, along with faith and love. Love is the guiding star – hope is how we live love for the sake of the world, and one another.
Blessings, peace, hope and love — Fr. Steve