27 November 2012
The end is nigh!!!
I was recently saddened by a wedding that I celebrated. The event itself is not what made me sad, instead, it was the guests. First of all, I must note that the celebration was outside of mass, and although it still made it difficult, I was at least glad that Jesus didn't have to be present for this, at least not in Eucharistic form. Getting back to my feelings, I was struck by the lack of participation of the people at the wedding, more particularly, I was saddened by the cell phone usage, the chatter between folks and the ceaseless murmuring between people throughout the celebration. It almost seemed as though these folks believed that I couldn't see them. In all of this though, I wasn't so much saddened by the fact that these folks had no interest in the celebration at hand, I was struck by what they proclaimed to me in their lack of interest. In some ways, the small crowd gathered for this couple was representative of a far greater reality that is affecting more and more of us. We live our lives unexamined, (here I refer back to the old philosophical maxim, "the unexamined life is not worth living") We go about our days doing this or doing that, but how often do we stop to become aware of what it is that we are doing, or even more, who it is that we are becoming. In these last few days, the readings at mass have been rather stark and maybe "end of days ish" this isn't for not reason, the fact of the matter is that when John was writing his Revelations, the Christian community was undergoing a major reality check. Only a few years after Christ's Resurrection, the Way was being persecuted like crazy. All these good folks were all of a sudden having to face the reality of death, and I don't mean a theatrical or movie death, but a real "getting up close and personal with lions" death. It was an intense period and being Christian was more than just being Baptized, going through CCD to do first Communion and then Confirmation, it was a time when becoming Christian was a life choice, one that could literally cost us our life. Thankfully, we no longer have to face some of those harsh decisions today, (although persecution still exists). With this in mind, however, and as we enter the Advent season, maybe we can take some time out of our busy days and reconnect with Him who entered our world not as a migthy conquerer, or a valiant leader, but as a vulnerable infant. Maybe it's time that we take a moment and face ourselves as we examine our lives and more profoundly, our Christian self. Who am I in God? How do I live out my faith? What are my fears? How is Christ preset in my heart? What do I need to do to welcome Him? These are but a few of the questions we must ask ourselves, as the first purple candle begins to illumine our darkness, let come to know Him so that as we celebrate the end of this season, we may not only rejoice in the gift that is Christ, but also celebrate with our lives. As always, know that you are loved. God bless you. Fr Ricky