The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

34th Week in Ordinary Time

Date: 
Tue, 11/28/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Nothing of this world…nothing in this world
is as important as Jesus Christ, God’s ultimate prophet:  his coming into this world,
his revelation to God’s people, his teaching, his sacrifice on the cross, his resurrection from the dead. 
(The Catholic Church calls all of this: The Paschal Mystery.)
When the end comes with nations destroying each other,
with terrible and unstoppable natural disasters,
with mysterious sicknesses and the death of millions…
when all this happens, don’t think you will find shelter or protection or comfort in this church building.
Don’t think that when all this happens, we will gather together in this building and celebrate Eucharist
like all the Hollywood movies depict.
This building will not be spared.  It too will be gone…turned to rubble.
And don’t get your hopes up when some person,
some human being steps forward and says “gather around me and I will keep you safe”.
And don’t think because you are a faithful follower of Christ,
you will not have to endure the tribulation, the horror.
If anything, those faithful to Christ will be singled out and persecuted for being different, naïve.
There will be no escape for anyone.
No science, no technology, no amount of material wealth, will save the day.
 
When the end comes, the only possible future will be the future offered by Jesus Christ:
those who remain in him till the end, those who die in him, will be resurrected by the power of God.
They will rise from the grave into everlasting glory.
 
I can hear people now:  “Oh Monsignor, why all the doom and gloom?
Why are you being such a fear monger, spreading all this horrible talk about the end?
The picture you paint seems exaggerated with terror and destruction…and it sounds awful.”
 
Well, all this doom and gloom doesn’t come from my warped and twisted imagination.
It doesn’t emerge out of my disappointments and frustrations and inner struggles with evil.
These aren’t my words; they are Jesus’ words.  I’m only proclaiming the gospel.
These aren’t my predictions.  This is Jesus’ description of the future to come.
And those who claim such words are meant to be metaphorical and accept them as such
will only lead others to think things will never get this bad.
They will be proven wrong and will be confronted by end times without any preparation.
 
The only salvation at the end will be faith, a strong faith, a genuine faith.
Not a faith tainted with magical attributes
(magic has to do with believing that we can somehow manipulate the spiritual world)….
not a shallow faith,  not a sentimental faith (one that says “oh, isn’t Jesus just wonderful”)
not a faith built upon deception and denial and illusion and blindness to the truth regarding sin.
If we deny the existence of our sin then our faith is empty, it has no substance,
for salvation is to believe in the depth of our soul that God, in Jesus Christ,
has overcome, has defeated sin.  The power and love of God is victorious over the darkness of evil.
 
Why does Jesus even talk about the end?   …because someone asks him.
And when he talks about the end he doesn’t say “if” all this happens.
He says very clearly “when” all this happens.
“When all this happens do not lose faith, and don’t mistakenly put your faith in anything worldly.
The Temple of God is beautiful now.  It is grand.  It is a wonder to behold.
But such beauty will pass away.  All worldly things, religious or otherwise, will pass away.
So don’t cling to them.  Don’t turn them into life or death conflicts.  It’s a waste of time.”
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, we await the end of worldly things, so that we might partake of what is eternal.  Prevent us from exaggerating the value of worldly things. Help us to fix our eyes and our hearts on that which will last forever.  Amen!”