THE NOW WORD ON MASS READINGS
for November 29th-30th, 2015
Feast of Saint Andrew
Liturgical texts here
AS we begin this Advent, my heart is filled with wonder of the Lord’s desire to restore all things in Himself, to make the world beautiful again.
We have just spent the last week, including the First Sunday of Advent, hearing the “end time” passages of the Scriptures.cf. The Beast Beyond Compare They essentially describe a world that has discarded truth, marred beauty, and shunned authentic goodness—and the consequences that unfold from that: war, famine, plagues, divisions, etc. Yes, I believe, as have many of our popes of the past century,cf. Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting? that we are living in those extraordinary times, the “end times”… however long they take to unfold. It is not the end of the world, but the end of a long confrontation between the “Gospel and the anti-gospel, the Church and the anti-Church” that we are witnessing. cf. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (ST. JOHN PAUL II ), at the Eucharistic Congress, Philadelphia, PA; August 13, 1976
But the restoration of all things in Christ is not something Jesus will accomplish apart from His Church, but precisely through His mystical Body.
And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ. (Eph 4:11-13)
Here is a mystery: while the world and the cosmos itself, worn out by the long night of sin, groans and convulses under its weight, the Body of Christ is being brought to a maturity, to a holiness “without spot or blemish” until the Final Coming of Jesus in His glorified flesh at the end of time. But as it were, a kind of Vindication of Wisdom will be accomplished before then when Christ’s reign through His Church will be established throughout the world as the fruit of justice.
Jesus wants to bring something beautiful to the world, and this is the Coming of a New and Divine Holiness. And this holiness is also not without its consequences: the restoration of truth, beauty, and goodness—and this will be achieved by a “New Pentecost”cf. Charismatic? Part VI poured out upon all creation.
“And they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” May God… shortly bring to fulfillment His prophecy for transforming this consoling vision of the future into a present reality… It is God’s task to bring about this happy hour and to make it known to all… When it does arrive, it will turn out to be a solemn hour, one big with consequences not only for the restoration of the Kingdom of Christ, but for the pacification of… the world. We pray most fervently, and ask others likewise to pray for this much-desired pacification of society. —POPE PIUS XI, Ubi Arcani dei Consilioi “On the Peace of Christ in his Kingdom”, December 23, 1922
But it is precisely through the Body of Christ that this glorious hour will come about when peace and justice will reign to the ends of the earth for a time. And thus, we hear in today’s first reading:
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
Brothers and sisters, it is your feet that the world awaits to bring the good news, to bring the fullness of truth, beauty, and goodness. How? The answer lies in today’s Gospel:
Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.
In the weeks ahead, may Jesus teach, equip, and anoint us as He once did Sts. Andrew, Peter, James and John with the wisdom necessary to become authentic Apostles—so that you and I will truly become salt and light to a world that has lost its “taste” and is reeling in darkness.
The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the command of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eye. (Today’s Psalm)
Your support is needed for this full-time ministry.
Bless you, and thank you.
To journey with Mark in the The Now Word this Advent,
click on the banner below to subscribe.
Your email will not be shared with anyone.
[ + ]