Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Two things need to be clarified: the Lord is always near, the Lord is always king. So how is it that the Lord can be compared to the one in the parable who after dividing his gold coins among his subjects, goes off “to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself”? The Lord is king, says St. John Chrysostom, because he rules all creation. He brings about the origin of everything, as the mother in the first reading says. Yet, says St. Basil, men tried to flee from God by their pursuit of evil rather than good works. So, St. Basil imagined, Christ makes the journey to the land of those who have tried to distance themselves from the God who sustains them, in order to win them over. In this way, they become members of God’s kingdom who seek to do the good deeds proper to the just, by which they grow close to God who is always close to them.

The closeness of our King should fill us with joy so that we can make the words of the psalmist our own, “Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.” (Ps 17:15b) This is how the Church calls us to pray about the end of time, seeing it as the final fulfillment of a longing for the Lord which we have had our whole lives. How different this is from the views of some who try to predict a specific date for doom’s day, seeking only to inspire fear. Rather, the readings today show us that we are not to follow the Lord out of fear, but out of gratitude for the gift of creation and for the hope of future life. May Jesus continue to show us that His love is the basis of our hope, and the call to love others as He loves us.

November 18th, 2015