Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36
Again, Jesus said to his disciples: “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. Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
While listening to this Gospel reading this morning, I was struck with the warning about the signs in the heavens, the sun, moon, stars, and how the world will go into a chaos. The world will be “perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves”.
I couldn’t help but think how President Obama and other world leaders have been pushing “climate change” for the purpose of regulating business and world events. How wrong men can be when faced with true prophecy. We are not heeding the warnings of God but people are listening to the fables of men. Today’s message is that we are to remain vigilant to the teaching of Christ through His holy Catholic Church despite what these false prophets proclaim.
Recently I was told by one of our Catholic Priests of an American Soldier deployed to Iraq who came to Father wanting to go to Confession. He told Father that he had been in more skirmishes with the enemy and he felt that his own life was seriously in danger.
Father heard his Confession, gave him absolution, and the Soldier left there with God’s grace. Six days later, this same Soldier was killed in action after an attack upon his patrol. Tragic as this is, what a great sign this Soldier has left us. Through his example, he shows a great sign of predestination knowing that he packed his bags for eternity and today is in the hands of the Lord.
It is a terrible thing to have someone die in your hands as I did during our 2007 deployment.
There was no priest. I prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet for this Soldier as that was all I could do. I trusted in the Lord’s promise to those who prayed this devotion in the presence of the dying. After returning from Iraq in January 2008, our unit held a evening dinner for all the Soldiers and their families. As my wife and I were sitting down a man walked up to me saying that he recognized me.
I had never seen him previously, he recognized me from the video given to him of his Son’s Military Memorial Service held in Iraq.
The man sadly explained to us that his wife was particularly brokenhearted over the fact their Son did not receive the Anointing of the Sick. She was deeply distraught over this on behalf of her Son.
I responded to the man that I would like to talk to her if she would like as I might have words that might console his wife.
He gladly brought her to us that evening and I explained to her the importance of the Divine Mercy Chaplet and of the Lord’s promise he gave to St. Faustina concerning this devotion. This was a devotion that I had been saying on behalf of our Soldiers in Iraq along with the Rosary. After speaking with his wife for a few minutes, she became greatly consoled with what I told her.
You can never take the sorrow away of a morning Mother for their Child, but because she has great trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, she was greatly consoled.
I remember my Mother at the funeral of my older Brother David and how she was gathered around by the family trying to console her.
Interestingly, this is the only time I remember my Mother ever playing the piano. Mom’s demeanor certainly created the somber tone of the scene. Sadly, many are not as vigilant. They lead their lives with a terrible void they fill with fleeting things that will never satisfy the soul. The Virgin Mary at Fatima after giving the Children of Fatima a vision of Hell (13 July 1917), told them:
“You see Hell, where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If they do what I will tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace… But if they do not stop offending God… He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, of hunger, and of persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.”
Pope Pius XII warned the world in 1950 that to be a true Christian beginning in the later half of the 20th Century they would have to live as “Living Martyrs” because the attack on the family will be so severe, because people will be greatly affected by their environment.
The secularization of our Society is very dangerous to the soul. Because of this,many live out each day like a mouse in a maze not aware of the potential dangers lurking at any corner.
Enjoy life, it is God’s gift to you, but be ever vigilant and faithful to His Church loving God above all things. I have found that if you put God first, you appreciate the things you have more profoundly with a thankful heart.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek To be consoled as to console, To be understood as to understand, To be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life. Amen!