Thursday, November 29, 2012

You Better Watch Out

Christmas is in the air.  There are radio stations dedicated to playing songs of Santa Claus, reindeer and most importantly, our beloved Savior. Yesterday, as I drove over to watch my grandson, the song "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" played.  It is such a bright and cheery song I remember from my childhood that my Christmas spirit was ignited. Why do I bring this up today? Well, the lyrics came to mind after reading todays Gospel (Luke 21:20-28): 

You better watch out, you better not cry,
You better not pout I'm telling you why,
Santa Claus is coming to town.

We are being told to cheer up and be joyful because happiness is just around the corner. Well, Jesus is telling us the same thing in the Gospel today, just a little more intensely:

Jesus said to his disciples: "When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the Scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."

Despite everything happening around us, we need to remain focused on Christ.  The oceans may rage and the winds blow, but our course must be steady, aiming straight for heaven. Never cower in fear, but stand tall knowing salvation is what we are striving for.

In Anne a lay apostle's book Whispers From the Cross, she encourages us to serve as our Blessed Mother and all the saints . . . as co-redeemers:

"And it is for this reason that Mary was crucified with her Son, truly and accurately. Because even as God possessed Mary through her Yes answer, she, in a sense, possessed Him by carrying the Saviour in her body. The Father created her immaculate for this role. He, as Father, craved a mother for His children, a “Yes” to Eve’s “No.” In Mary He created the most beautiful complement to His paternity. As Eve said no to the Father, Mary said yes and as Eve drew God’s children into the fall, Mary leads God’s children into Redemption. Apostles, we are each called to serve after the example of Mary. The Resurrected Christ wants to be presented to others through our yes answer to Him. We think of St. Francis and St. Dominic.

They, by allowing Christ to work through them, participated powerfully in the Redemption of mankind. Indeed, Francis allowed Christ to possess Him so completely that the wounds of the Saviour actually opened out and erupted again into the physicality of mankind. We know that periodically God sends these ‘big hitters’, as it were. Most of us will be smaller versions of this. Can we say that we are less important or that our call to be co-redeemers, or, those who cooperate with Mary and Jesus for mankind is less imperative? No. That is exactly what God’s enemy wants us to think, that we are irrelevant, that our yes answer is of no great importance to the Kingdom. On the contrary, the mystery of the Resurrected Christ is that He has a plan for the redemption of our brothers and sisters that includes each one of us."

Lay apostles, are you serving others, leading them to Christ?  Or, are you only worried about your own salvation? As we become more comfortable with talking the talk and walking the walk, we draw others into the Light of Christ.  Some will follow, and some will turn away. Pray for the latter. I can't imagine not knowing Christ when the time comes for His return. 

Thank you, Lord, for giving me strength and calm knowing I will meet you Face to face some day. And, to prepare myself and others I serve to stand tall in whatever is to come.

God bless,

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