October 10, 2015
SATURDAY, Year I, week 27:
The Responsorial Psalm gives a guideline for our hearts: “Let the good rejoice in the Lord” (Psalm 97).
If the word “judgment” sounds negative to us, we may be making some false assumptions. When Joel 4: 12-21 says, “Near is the day of the Lord, the valley of decision,” he continues: “The heavens and the earth quake, but the Lord is a refuge to his people.” Those who are with God look forward to the day when God will purify the world by separating right from wrong. “Then shall you know that I, the Lord, am your God…. Jerusalem shall be holy….On that day the mountains shall drip new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk.” The “day of the Lord” is something to look forward to. It will make the truth evident to all. “Let the good rejoice in the Lord.”
The “day of the Lord” is something that we, as stewards of the kingship of Christ are working to bring about. Our task and privilege on this earth is to cooperate with God in establishing God’s reign over every area and activity of human life on earth. But it is discouraging business. We live in a society where falsehood is accepted as truth, where people too ignorant to know there is a God are accepted as intellectuals, where the unprincipled and the arrogant are elected to be leaders, where greed and avarice determine national policy and force is preferred over a diplomacy of peace. Instead of sitting down with those who hate us and asking what justifiable grievances they might have, we prefer to meet them on the battleground and to dialogue with bullets and bombs. This will all be set right on the “day of the Lord.” “Let the good rejoice in it.”
Luke 11: 27-28 is a “heads up” that cautions us not to judge that day by appearances. The woman in the crowd thought Jesus’ mother was fortunate to have such a son. But she only saw what was visible, and not that Mary was the Mother of God. Jesus says any person who receives divine life through faith and lives by it is more blessed than what that woman saw in Mary’s motherhood as a purely human blessing.
When we set about transforming and renewing society, we must not let our vision stop short with merely human social reforms. We have not really helped people much if all we gain for them is prosperity, peace and a fair share of the power at work in the world. When we pray, “Thy Kingdom come!” we follow it with “Thy will be done.” Our goal must always be that “life to the full” for all people that Jesus came to give. Otherwise we ourselves and all we have accomplished will be found wanting on the “day of the Lord.” “Let the good rejoice in the Lord,” not just in better social structures.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Look always to his goal, to his understanding of the Kingdom, and work for that.