Four In One
Thirty-first Week of Year II Friday November 4, 2016
What do you anticipate with more enthusiasm: going to work, going home, going to a party, or going to church? The Responsorial Psalm says: “I rejoiced when I heard them say: “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” (Psalm 122). There we find all four!
In Philippians 3:17 to 4:1 Paul argues that abandonment to stewardship for the sake of total happiness is an alternative to total disaster.
For those whose minds are “set upon the things of this world,” he says, “their end is destruction.” But for those who “press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus,” 1 he says “Our citizenship is in heaven; it is from there that we eagerly await the coming of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Our end is total fulfillment.
We celebrate this in every Mass. In the Rite of Communion our focus is on the “end time” …as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. The presider proclaims the Church’s utter disregard for every threat on earth, including death itself:
“Happy are those who are invited to the wedding banquet of the Lamb.” 2 Nothing lasting can go wrong for us here on earth. We are here with a visa marked “Temporary residence only.” We are like immigrants working hard and conscientiously to build up this country, but saving all their money to buy property at home. “Here we have no lasting city,” but by working to establish the kingdom we are building a new city in heaven that will be relocated on earth!
And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
So we work for the kingdom of God on earth. But heaven is the home where we are going after work and where the party is going on. From there Jesus will return in all his power and glory as Savior to form “a new earth, where righteousness is at home.” Then we will party! 3
The Rite of Communion brings into a single focus going to church, going to work, going home, and going to the party to which we are invited. “I rejoiced when I heard them say: “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
In Luke 16: 1-8 Jesus praises the unfaithful steward for looking ahead. He just didn’t look far enough. He was still investing in this world. Jesus makes the point that we must all account for the way we invest our time, energy, talents and resources on earth. If we are faithful stewards of his kingship we will invest them all for him, as his property.
2 “…expectantes beatam spem et adventum Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi…..Beati qui ad cenam Agni vocati sunt.” See Revelation 19:9.
3Hebrews 13:14; Revelation 21:2; 2Peter 3:13.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward: build for the future in heaven and on earth.