Wednesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time


I tell you, brothers, the time is running out.
From now on, let those having wives act as not having them,
those weeping as not weeping,
those rejoicing as not rejoicing,
those buying as not owning,
those using the world as not using it fully.
For the world in its present form is passing away.

This scripture reminds me of a crying baby who is momentarily distracted by something he sees. His crying stops and he wonders, “What is that?” If it’s really fascinating he may go off to study it more closely; if not, he’ll resume his crying. But for a moment his face radiated curiosity and wonder.

Saint Paul tells us our expectation of Jesus’ Second Coming should distract us from earthly concerns, perhaps in a similar fashion. There are things to weep about, and reasons for rejoicing. There are things to be bought and sold but never forget, “…the world in its present form is passing away.”

Recently, the Mount has seen a steady stream of Pokémon Go players driving around the buildings all day long and throughout the night. These people rarely descend to the earth from their automobiles; they prefer to gaze from the safety of their cars upon certain mystical wonders hovering around the chapel, the statue of Saint Joseph and the water tower. This nonsense erupted in early July, by mid-September it will surely be over. You would think so many people could think of something better to do with the little time we have.

By comparison, our faith is far more wonderful. We are awestruck by Jesus’ birth of the Virgin Mary, amazed by his Baptism in the Jordan, delighted by the Miracle at Cana, mystified by his healings and teachings, humbled in silence by his Last Supper, overwhelmed with grief at his crucifixion and speechless at his Resurrection. Adventures and misadventures in Saint Luke’s Acts of the Apostles provide yet more astonishment.

Enlightened by the gospel we study the Old Testament to find more wonders, especially the prophecies of his coming and his mission. Then we pore over the innumerable stories of Christian saints, men and women of every age who have fearlessly dedicated their lives to God. Each is more fascinating than the other. 

The Gospel, like no other religion, sees the future clearly; it urges us to pay attention to what is about to happen. We will suffer grief, of course, and we will enjoy many pleasures; but, with our eyes fixed on the Eternal Light we will never be overwhelmed with sadness nor dazzled by the nonsense around us.  

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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.