Dear Friends in Christ
The liturgy of this Sunday reminds us quite simply, that life on earth is but a short wait for our Lord’s return. The faith which guides us on earth is precisely the certainty in things hoped for, as the second reading says. By means of hope we acquire a firm certainty with regard to what Christ has promised, and a possession, in advance, of the divine gifts. Through faith, we know with certainty the fundamental truths of human existence: that we are made for heaven and therefore all else should be ordered to that supreme end; and that our Lord wants to help us reach this destination with all the help that He can give us. Jesus encourages us to be vigilant because the enemy never rests, he is always on the prowl, and he never sleeps. That is why in the Gospel of this Sunday our Lord warns us to be ever vigilant. Only a small amount of time separates us from that definitive counter with Christ. Each day that passes brings us closer to eternity. It may be this year or the following one…whenever it may be it will always seem as though time and life have passed too quickly. We will be vigilant in love and far from unprepared if we remain faithful in the little things of each day. If we consider these small details when we examine our conscience each day. Little things are the prelude to greater things, and loving vigilance feeds upon them. Saint Francis de Sales emphasises the importance of conquering in small temptations, for there are many occasions to do so during the day, and many victories in small things are more important than a single great victory. Moreover, even though wolves and bears are undoubtedly more dangerous than flies, they never cause us as much discomfort or try our patience as much. It’s easy, the Saint points out, to avoid murder, but difficult to avoid anger over little things. It is easy to avoid stealing our neighbours belongings, but how difficult it is at times to not desire them. It is easy not to spread false rumours about our neighbour, but difficult to avoid lying in our conversations. We easily avoid drunkenness, but how difficult it is at times to live sobriety. If we are faithful in little things we will be guarded, vigilant, and on the alert, when our Lord arrives.
Thursday is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady in Heaven. This Day celebrates the moment God brought Mary - body and soul - into her heavenly home and without allowing her body to experience the corruption of the grave. May he intercede for us from her place above. Don't forget: it is a Holyday of Obligation…even if you are away on holiday!
God bless you!
Msgr Kevin Hale