- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

August 23, 2016

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

21st Tuesday in Ordinary Time
2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3a, 14-17; Matthew 23: 23-26

There is nothing like a little bad news in the media to make people start talking about the end of the world. After reading today’s passage from the second letter to the Thessalonians one can only guess Paul’s times were not too different from ours. We always think we are living in the worst of times and that the Lord must be planning to fix things by bringing the world to an end. Just when you think things can’t get any worse, guess what? They do!!! And when they do, the trick is to keep our focus on God and His faithfulness to the covenant. It is by clinging steadfastly to faith in God that we will find shelter from the distressing times we live in. By remaining centered on the Word of God, we will find the guidance we need to run along the path of God’s commandments and discover that our hearts have been expanded with the unspeakable sweetness of love. Our security in times of adversity depends on the provident care of God who is in control of everything that happens to us.

Our faith tells us that the worst that can happen has already happened. God was impaled on a tree. The event was so outrageous that the sun refused to shine that day. But the story does not end there. On the third day, Christ rose from the dead. Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said: “Take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn. 16:33). Through the paschal mystery we have peace with God and in Christ we find a peace that the world as we know it cannot give. Jesus gives us the reason for our confidence. “Take courage! I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mat. 28:20). This means that the Lord is in charge, no matter who else says otherwise. Only by holding fast to the Gospel, can we hope to find courage and strength when facing adversity. When the Lord returns in glory, may He bring us all into everlasting life.