As we read from the Book of Daniel today, that which I said about apocalyptic literature yesterday comes about just as God had promised. Throughout history, we have known periods of terror and evil, persecutions of innocent people, bloody revolutions in which hundreds have been murdered, genocides aplenty. Apocalyptic literature simply places the present time in perspective. As we read in the Wisdom Literature of the Hebrew Scriptures, “Nothing new under the sun.” It has all happened before, and it will all happen again.
I could be accused of fatalism. However, that is where faith comes in. We know that our situation on this earth is not where we belong. We are citizens of God’s kingdom, a kingdom of justice and peace, of love and fellowship. While we wait for that kingdom to come either to us as individuals or to us as a group, we are tested. We must hold on to our faith that God will prevail.
Jesus is our example in this test of faith. Completely innocent, he suffered the most ignominious death. Because he obeyed the will of the Father, he was vindicated in that death by rising from the dead. The same resurrection awaits us. Faith will see us through the fragility of this world.
The Gospel for today bids us to be vigilant. Let us wait for the Lord confident that his advent is upon us. Those who stand on a corner waiting for the bus do so because that the bus will eventually come. The same can be said of those who await the return of Jesus. We do so because we believe that Jesus will return. Jesus promised that he would return. God has never failed to fulfill any promises made.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator