for Sunday, November 16, 2014
We are coming to the end of Ordinary Time and so we get advice in the
readings today about how to live. The first reading, from the Book of
Proverbs, is clear that a husband and wife can be great and wonderful gifts
to one another. But it is not automatic! What a gift the worthy wife!
What a gift the man who entrusts his heart to his wife! We all know that
it does not always work that way. When it does, we can see the Sacrament
of Matrimony at work in a way that is convincing.
The second reading, from the First Letter to the Thessalonians, is also
clear that the end of the world, or our personal death as well, will come
when we are not expecting it. We need to be prepared at all times to meet
the Lord. We may think that we have years left, but God can come at any
time, either to end the whole world or to take us to His Kingdom. This is
a message reflected throughout all of Scripture: Be ready now! Be alert!
The Gospel, from Saint Matthew, repeats both of these themes as it speaks
about how to use the talents given to us. We can think of human talents,
but the Gospel is really about how to use the gifts of faith given to us.
Whatever we are given in this life, we need to use for God's glory and for
others. Perhaps at times we want to shrug off responsibility and let
others take care of things. The Gospel keeps telling us: we are ourselves
Christ present in the world. We are the hands and the love of God. We
must live our faith or it is no faith.
If we look at today's world, we can well believe that the end is here. Yet
this is so in every age. There is never a time when the world is
completely obedient to the Lord and to the love the Father has for us in
the Holy Spirit. There is never a time when everyone is seeking the face
of the Lord. This cannot surprise us.
On the other hand, in every age, God's love and God's word are present. We
are being called to respond to that love and that word. Especially those
of us who have professed faith in Jesus Christ must be willing to take up
the Cross each day and to follow Him, even when it may mean suffering.
Perhaps we do not do world - shaking actions! That should not surprise us.
Yet a small act of love to another person changes the world. The smallest
act of faith transforms the whole universe. We don't have to think huge.
We are invited to take even the smallest steps in the direction of this God
who loves us. He Himself can transform that littleness. All glory to Him
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Proverbs 31.10-13, 16-18, 20, 26, 28-31++
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5.1-6
Gospel: Matthew 24.36; 25.14-30++
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: