Adult Faith Formation Column for the Sunday Bulletin of St. Michael Parish, Livermore, California

This weekly column is a short meditation on the Bible readings of the Sunday Mass. The meditations are direct quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, writings of the Saints, and similar orthodox sources.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sunday 20 November 2011

When Everything Is Subjected To Him

    Before his Ascension Christ affirmed that the hour had not yet come for the glorious establishment of the messianic kingdom awaited by Israel which, according to the prophets, was to bring all men the definitive order of justice, love, and peace.  According to the Lord, the present time is the time of the Spirit and of witness, but also a time still marked by "distress" and the trial of evil which does not spare the Church and ushers in the struggles of the last days.  It is a time of waiting and watching.

    Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced the judgment on the Last Day in his preaching.  Then will the conduct of each one and the secrets of hearts be brought to light.  Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offer of God's grace as nothing be condemned.  Our attitude about our neighbor will disclose acceptance or refusal of grace and divine love.  On the last day Jesus will say:  "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."

    Christ is Lord of eternal life.  Full right to pass definitive judgment on the works and hearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world.  He "acquired" this right by his cross.  The Father has given "all judgment to the Son."  Yet the Son did not come to judge, but to save and to give the life he has in himself.  By rejecting grace in this life, one already judges oneself, receives according to one's works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity by rejecting the Spirit of love.

     -- Catechism of the Catholic Church
        paragraphs 672, 678-679

Prayer of Repentance

    I am the lost sheep wandering in the desert.  Search for me, Good Shepherd, and bring me home again to your fold.  Do with me what you want so that I may live with you all the days of my life and praise you for all eternity with those who are with you in heaven.

     -- Saint Jerome (342-420 AD)

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