33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Day of the Lord
Today is the 2nd last Sunday of the Church year. The readings speak about the day of the Lord. That day is a time of judgment and salvation. Everything will pass away but the Word of God will not pass.
That day, although belonging to Jewish thought, is now understood to be a divine intervention closely tied with the coming of the Messiah to judge the world. Jesus himself affirms this in the Gospel referring to the coming of the Son of Man with great power.
In a way we cannot yet fully understand, Jesus plays the central role in the final establishment of the Reign of God. Sun, moon, stars –thought in the time of Jesus to represent deities that controlled worldly affairs– would all be shown to be impotent. In a sense his power outshines them, and they fade into insignificance. All this imagery is to convey the fact that God’s judgment will come down upon us at the hand of Jesus, and in a way that will affect the whole of creation.
When? Well we’re all guaranteed of meeting Jesus at death. When does God’s full plan kick in? Well – Jesus gives us a weather analogy. The truth is, we don’t know, but the victory of Christ in our hearts and the twilight of all the ‘lesser gods’ happens now through faith. Before he comes as judge, he comes to us through faith knocking at the door of our hearts. So, instead of looking for sprouting leaves, we could look for the fruit of our faith such as the fruits of the Holy Spirit pouring out of our hearts and into our lives. Our faith is our guarantee of being able to stand before God in our time of judgment.
Things shake our world – death, sickness, even falling in love! If God were to shake up our world and demand an account of our life today, would our way of living reveal our faith and the fruit of our love? Would our life be a living witness to the eternal Word as revealed by Jesus and proclaimed in all the Gospels? Would we be ashamed by God’s judgment, or would we shine as brightly as the stars that light up the vault of heaven? Let us ponder these matters, making amendments to our lives where necessary.