November 18, 2018
Nov 19, 2018
This week and next our readings take a bit of a dark turn as we come to the conclusion of the Church year – we spend some time reflecting on the end.
Which is always a fascinating thing for us to consider I suppose. Every now and then you will see an ad in the paper or somewhere that some guy is gonna do a seminar at the days inn or somewhere on the end times – and that he’s gonna tell you how and why the end is near. That’s fascinating and easy to get caught up in, until we remember how Jesus ends the Gospel today – by telling us that no one knows when the end will be, that not even Jesus know. So if Jesus doesn’t know when the end will be, I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that neither does Bob down at the Days Inn. So it’s best just to move on!
And while we can’t know that, while we can’t control that – what we can do, what we need to do, is something we are reminded of in our first reading today – especially when we hear about St. Michael – the great archangel, our guardian who defends us against the tribulations of life, and especially from the snares of the devil – that’s something we would all do well to focus on.
It’s funny, but the devil never comes to us with horns and cloven hooves, rather he tends to come to us in the ordinary everyday moments of our lives when he can tempt us, not with grand things – but with the things that cause us to turn away from Jesus in the simplest of ways. When he tempts us to be uncharitable – to not love one another, especially those like the poor, the immigrant, those people that really grind our gears, those in our circle whom we judge to be not worthy of our love, when he convinces us to not treat them with boundless charity; when he convinces us not to forgive one another, lavishly, and to cling to grudges, resentments and fear; when he tempts us to not be faithful to the Church, to all of the commandments; when he does so well at dividing us, at separating us from one another – us vs. them in every area of our lives.
That devil that comes to us, that creeps into the cracks of our foundational call to holiness, that devil is a tough one – and he is so good at attacking us all right where he knows we are weakest – our pride, our lust, our greed, our envy, our gossip, our lack of charity, and the like - and we cannot surrender to him
Which is why we have St. Michael. In the bulletin is a copy of the St. Michael Prayer – we would all do well to pray it everyday – to seal ourselves against the encroachment of the devil and his ways that try to break apart the foundation of our faith. And His prayer is definitely one that needs to be in our spiritual repertoire, probably everyday.
We can’t control the end, but we can control our now - if we are vigilant and fight the spiritual battles and be faithful to Jesus - in all things, as we are called to be. So let’s focus on that. God help us all. +