The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

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

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34th Week in Ordinary Time

Fri, 12/01/2017
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

It’s not often that I do this.  As a matter of fact, this is the first time ever.
But I’m willing to venture into unknown territory.
An American rock band, in 1987, the year I was ordained a priest,
…this rock band released a song
that says something worthy of Christian respect and consideration,
something worthy for us to hear as we come to the end of the 2017 Church liturgical year.
The name of the rock band is R.E.M.
The name of the song is “It’s the End of the World and We Know It”.
(I feel like Casey Kasem from the radio show “American Top 40” as I say all this.)
With its upbeat rhythm and unique, quick flying lyrics
this song carries the listener through a stream of consciousness…
bits and pieces from dreams, natural disasters, human methods of destruction,
feelings and thoughts about responding to conflicts and disagreements
all sequenced together sort of like a rap song:
earthquakes, hurricanes, causing human insides to churn;
the world serves its own needs, the ladder becomes afraid of heights,
government for hire, all coming in a hurry, Furies breathing down our necks.
Reporters are baffled and are silenced, save yourself, serve yourself,
the Rapture, slam fight, vitriolic.
Slash and burn, escalation, light a candle, no fear, cavalier, renegade,
a tournament of lies, continental drift divide…
I told you it was a stream of consciousness….
all having to do with things that would make us think
that life as we know it on this earth is coming to an end….
things over which we seem to have no power to stop.
Now Jesus, when instructing his disciples about the end
doesn’t use such colorful language;
but he makes a similar point:  “the world as you know it will come to an end,
and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”
There are two lines in R.E.M.’s song that deserve our focused attention.
After listing all these examples of how things are changing for the worse, disrupting normal life,
the singer sings “and I’m Feeling pretty psyched.”
A little further in the song, in the chorus, the singer adds over and over again “and I feel fine”.
All this is happening and “I feel fine”.
If I had access to R.E.M. I’d invite them to come to Mass today and sing their song for the homily.  I’d first make you promise not to tell the bishop.
However, the possibility doesn’t exist.  R.E.M. disbanded in 2011.
As Christians, we are encouraged to think about the end of the world as we know it.
Not only think about it, but actively wait for it.
For in the end, Jesus Christ will return in all of his glory.  Get psyched about it!
When the end occurs, we are to stand tall, stand with confidence….greet Jesus with joy…
knowing that our redemption is close at hand.
As Christians, one of the worst things we can do as we live in this world
is to become complacent with the way things are.
Equally worse would be to adopt a cowardly attitude, running around in fear like everyone else.
It is our mission to continue the do work of Jesus Christ,
bringing the light of his truth to bear on the evil and darkness that confronts us.
We do this by showing compassion and providing charity, by calling out injustice,
by working for peace, by making sure that in word and deed,
we contribute to what is good instead of adding to the problems.
Now is the time to renew our Christian vision of the last days
and to reorient the direction of our lives towards the Parousia, the Second Coming of Christ.
He will come as a just judge and his power will reign over the presence of evil.
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, the passing of time brings us ever closer to the end of the world as we know it.  Bless us with courage and strength that we might stand fast in our faithfulness and give witness to a Spirit of Christian hope for the future.  Amen!”