Tuesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

During the First Iraq War, General Schwarzkopf described the American Army’s method of driving the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait. He said they did not specifically intend to kill the soldiers but they would destroy their weapons. I understood him to say, “If they get out of their tanks, they’ll be safe; if they lay down their RPGs (rocket propelled grenades) they will not be harmed.”

That seems to be the Lord’s approach to the Final Judgment. On that day, the weeds will be collected and burned up with fire. Evil will be destroyed; goodness will be vindicated. Those who led good lives despite the taunts of the wicked, who lived modestly and reasonably, caring for their neighbors as they cared for themselves will be honored.  

Those who hide from God’s judgment within their heavily armored weapons of conceit, intemperance, entitlement and self-satisfaction risk grave danger. They are snakes who cannot shed the skin of the old person; turtles attached to their shells. They will say to God, “Love me! Love my stuff!” Fearfully, they will suffer gravely when their stuff is destroyed.

Louisville and the Ohio River
on a pleasant summer night
The righteous are those who abandon their weapons against God’s justice. When he calls them from the grave they will say with Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Jesus, Mary and all the saints, “Here I am!” They will come leaping like Lazarus to meet the Lord, as happy as children in city fountains on a hot summer day. 

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.