Thursday, October 25, 2012

Gospel Reflection

October 25, 2012
Thursday – Weekday – Year of Faith
by Rev. Fr. Bob McConaughey (Resident Formator, Lorenzo Mission Institute)
Mass at Megamall, Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord

Reading 1 Eph 3:14-21

Brothers and sisters: I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19

R. (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.

Gospel Lk 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples: "I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."


This time next week, there will be no mass here because it is a holiday and the mall will be closed. You will be with your departed loved ones, and you'll pray for them.
We don't think about death very much. For us, it is normal. But supposing your guardian angel appears to you one night and says, "The Heavenly Father has a message for you. He wants you to know the day of the week that you're gonna die". Would you want to know? He will tell you perhaps the day of the week, but not the year. And supposing He says, "You are going to die on a Tuesday". That might keep your interest a little bit. And you will say "Ok, well it may be years from now. It will be on a Tuesday, so I will be safe for the rest of the week". But supposing your guardian angel appears the next time and says, "The Heavenly Father has more news for you. He wants you to know the month of the year that you're gonna die." Would you want to know? And supposing your angel said to you, "Here is the final bit of information that you must know. You are going to die on a Tuesday, in November, between 7 in the morning and 7 at night. Might be this year, might be six years from now. No more news, you'll never see me again."  

What do you think it would be like - that last Tuesday of November? What would that day be for you? How will it be different than all the other days? I could see that you probably will have trouble sleeping on Monday night. In the morning, probably at five o'clock you will wake up and before you do anything, you will be into deep prayer. Perhaps you would slowly say the Rosary, asking Mama Mary to protect you during those 12 hours, between 7 and 7. You'll probably try to keep busy during the morning, to make the hours go by quickly, but deep inside, you are constantly being distracted by fear, by worry, by anxiety. And because of your fear or anxiety, you drive in here to the chapel, or to your parish church. And when the priest says, "In order to prepare ourselves to celebrate these sacred mysteries, let us call to mind our sins". Oh - you will really call to mind all your sins. And you will feel deep, deep sorrow and express that sorrow and really mean it - on the last Tuesday of November.  
And when you sit down to listen to the Liturgy of the Word, you will not so much seek to interpret the Scriptures, as much as you will look to have the Scripture interpret you. To give you some clue, some sign of the meaning of your life. And when the time of Communion comes, you receive it and pray, as it may be your last day - "This is what I need from you Lord - to give me peace". You may probably ask something else, like "Lord, this is what I am asking of you, what do you want from me?"
After the mass, you probably will go shopping. Things will be very important to you - what you own, what you possess. You can also say, "I can be judged today." And I remember what Jesus said how I will be judged. "When I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink. When I was in prison you came to visit me, naked and you clothed me." And straight from the mall, you will go out, and you will go to all the hungry, thirsty, the strangers - and you will give from the heart - to make a difference. You will do that on the last Tuesday of November.
And chances are in the evening, you will ask all those who are closest to you - your family, to have dinner with you. And at the dinner you will tell them things that you have not told them before. You will tell them how much you love and care for them. You will tell them how thankful you are to God that they have been part of your life, you will tell them that. You will not assume they know it. You will be totally open to them - on the last Tuesday of November.
Then finally, until 7pm, your heart will be beating very very fast, and suddenly the clock will strike past 7, and you will still be alive, free from fear. But as you would look back on that Tuesday, the last Tuesday in November, you would probably find that, that day that began in fear, in worry, in anxiety, turned out to be the most profoundly meaningful day of the year. When you would have lived your life selflessly, sacrificially. And the way you have lived that day, will cast out your fear.
Life is here, and it's scripted. Love's a gift, that we've been given. To give it all away, and have it still - that's God's will. Let's live each day - a little bit - as if it were the last Tuesday in November.