We live in the mystery of the “hear” and the “not yet.” The Parousia is about this moment rapped into eternity. Not a reality that we are meant to understand, but to embrace.
What did I just say? Did you understand? More than likely no. Which might have been the same reaction to the folks who listened to Jesus when He gave them a new set of directives. Everybody was used to the old ways—the old Commandments. Jesus introduced a completely new radical way of looking at reality. “Blessed are the poor”, Jesus said. Nobody wants to be poor. We get an education, we work hard, we save money in the bank to avoid being poor. However, Jesus not only said that to be poor was ok; He called them “blessed”. That means that to be poor is a goal—something that we should try to be. Made no sense to the average person 2000 years ago, still makes no sense today. Our vision is limited to our present situation in the material world. Jesus invites us to step into the spiritual world. People who are spiritually poor do not depend on possessions to give them happiness. We come with nothing; we will leave with nothing. Meanwhile, the illusion continues: that only wealth will bring us happiness. We not only believe the illusion, but we also perpetuate the lie by instilling the same values on future generations. How much is he worth? How much is she worth? Naturally, we are speaking about their net worth. Rarely would someone answer by saying, “He/She is worth the Blood of Jesus Christ.” That was what Jesus paid to save us. He died for us so that we would not have to die. We are an expensive ticket!
Instant gratification is in style. We like to touch a screen, push a button or give a voice command and be obeyed. Of course, we get better results from devices than from people. Speed is preferred to a snail’s pace. Consider that the world points in one direction and Jesus points in the opposite direction. Like oil and water—they just don’t mix. But we keep trying. We shake the bottle, but the oil separates from the water. We attempt to justify our behavior by the fashion, the strength in numbers—“everybody’s doing it”, or the ageless excuse—“the devil made me do it.” If we shake the bottle hard the oil and the water seem to unite. Those are the times that we do not want to face our problems. Denial is comfortable. Then reality sets in. The sun always rises, and we must face the person in the mirror. Takes a spirit of spiritual poverty to admit our sin. “If my wife would behave; if my husband would pay attention to me; if my parents didn’t treat me unfairly.” We cannot change anyone, only ourselves.
Jesus points to the present and offers a glimpse at the future. The future will be determined by what is happening now. This moment is the only place we can exist. Now is where we can love, pray, feel. The future is not ours to see. But God sees everything. For God there is no past, present or future. God always is. God is always in the now. Although He does not control us, God knows what is going to happen, which demonstrates His unconditional love. Knowing that we are going to mess us, God continues to love us, to give us chances over and over. He forgives us every time that we ask. Our most intimate connection with eternity is through the Sacraments, particularly the Eucharist. When we partake of the Eucharist we are already in the Kingdom, we are satisfied, we are laughing. Holy Communion is a participation of heaven. We are sitting with all the angels and saints in the Unending Banquet. How can we be distracted? What else can be more important? We can’t receive the Eucharist online. The polarity of choice is ours to make. Our soul, our emotions and our body are all connected. What we do for one affects our whole person. The feeding of our soul has ramifications that will last for all eternity.
Unworthy as we are, poor as we are, hungry as we are—Christ feeds us. He offers us eternal life.