We were with Jesus at the first moment of his inception in the womb of Holy Mother Mary; and at his birth; we were at the River Jordan when he asked to be baptized; we heard him announce for the first time the presence of his Father’s Kingdom, and when he reprimanded the proud and the stubborn; and we saw him betrayed, handed over to the religious authorities in Jerusalem, and ultimately executed.
When He breathed his last on the cross, and felt totally abandoned, we were there.
And finally we rejoiced when Jesus was resurrected; and at Pentecost, we celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit over us, when we were imbued with the purifying fire of God, and the mercy and wisdom of Jesus Christ.
Next week, we end our current cycle of liturgical, Eucharistic celebrations by commemorating Christ our King; then, the following week, we prayerfully, gladly begin the liturgical cycle again with the first Sunday of Advent; for this is what we, as Church, do, and must do, until the Lord comes: We focus on our true teacher, our Messiah and Lord, Jesus Christ; for nothing apart from Christ makes sense to us; nothing brings us more light; nothing sets us free, or heals us, apart from Christ.
Christ, indeed, is the beginning and the end for us: He is the Alpha and the Omega of who and what we are. It is he, Jesus, who, at our inception, began interceding for us, pleading our cause before the Father; and when we were born, he presented us to the Father, who has created and loved us into being.
Today’s first reading from Malachi speaks about a beginning and an end, the “day that is coming, blazing like an oven,” when God’s justice will vanquish all sin and purify it of its excesses, and restore the world to its original innocence. Those who “fear the name of the Lord,” that is, those who have served the Lord and made amends with whomever they intentionally hurt or trespassed; and those who took what little they had and shared it with those who had even less than they: They will revel in “the sun of justice,” and absorb its “healing rays.”
But, Malachi says, those who only live for the moment, using and abusing life and its resources as though it were only their own; as though it were all disconnected from the life of all others, and from the world itself: They will wither and die; not because God wishes it, not because God is vengeful, but because they have wished it upon themselves: They are indeed reaping what they sowed: They are in the end, barren, rootless, disconnected from the living God, because they disconnected themselves from God, the origin and root of all justice, and from the love of others.
God invited them, but they did not come to God. They did not want to come to God.
Jesus, too, speaks about and end time, not to scare us, nor to predict the end of the world. Jesus points us to the Truth, and the Truth is this: We are always, everywhere, connected to, and rooted in, God; there is no distance between us and God: For God has willed to know us through and through, so much does God love us; and so much does God rejoice in us, that if we simply ask, God will pour into us His compassion, His tolerance, His joy, His serenity, and Holy courage. Jesus shows us that by first by changing what is on the inside of us, that which is outside of us and needs changing, will indeed change: Not by magic, not by wishful thinking, but because we have finally taken charge of our lives, our world, as He, Jesus, wants us to. If in Christ we admit to our inner discord in the light of God’s love and God’s mercy, this discord changes into profound peace, into an unbreakable unity; and by praying, we reduce the desperate, chaotic noise in our heads and in our hearts; then, truly at peace, we hear the silence our Lord Jesus Christ—the Silence of his Love.
We know better than to put our trust in anyone who wishes to distract us from being people of the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. No one can substitute for Christ; no one can give us the wisdom and the clarity that comes from the love of Christ himself.
So, imbued through and through with God’s Spirit, the purifying, gentle fire of God’s love, we develop and maintain a prayerful self-awareness; so no matter what happens, we are firmly grounded in God, in his Christ.
May we always be purified of what is not of God, so that through us the world may be purified, redeemed, and saved—as we have been purified, redeemed and saved.