daily biblical sermons

Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Monday, 33rd Week of the Year, November 15, 2010
Rev. 1:1-4, 2:1-5, Ps. 1, Luke 18:35-43

"Blessed is he who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written therein; for the time is near" (Rev. 1:3).

St. John, the author of Revelation, has a strong sense that "the time is near." That is, he lives in the nearness of the coming of the Lord. Nearly two thousand years have passed since he wrote these words, and we still live in the nearness of the coming of the Lord. This is how Christians of all ages should live. It does not matter how many years still remain until the Lord's coming; a Christian should always live in the nearness his coming-especially at this time of year. Such is the Christian life. This is how Jesus wants us to live: always longing for his coming, watching and keeping vigil for it, preparing ourselves ever more, living lives of eager expectation, vigilance, and preparation.

St. Paul says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand" (Phil. 4:4-5). He who lives in the nearness of the Lord lives in his peace, for he "has freed us from our sins by his blood" (Rev. 1:5). There is no peace like the peace of Christ, for he removes from our hearts the pain of guilt for sin by his sacrifice on the cross, where he suffered the pain of alienation from God for us and instead of us, satisfying divine justice for us. By invoking his merits-especially in the sacrament of reconciliation-we are cured of this pain in our hearts, and his peace reigns within us. In this way, we live in his nearness, eagerly awaiting his coming in glory.

Christ is he "who is and who was and who is to come" (Rev. 1:4). He is with us now. In the future, he will come in his glory to illuminate the world, and we will be with him in glory. Hope for this glory guards us now from evil and sin, for we know that by sin we will lose this glory, this peace, this sense of the nearness of the Lord in which we now live. "Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him" (Rev. 1:7). We should live now in joyful and eager expectation of his glorious coming on the clouds of heaven to illuminate all things and to fill our hearts with his splendor. We want him to sustain us to the end, "guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 1:8). His blood washes us now and makes us blameless. We want to stay in this state of purity until his coming and grow still more in it.

We should not be like the Christians of Ephesus, to whom St. John wrote, "I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first" (Rev. 2:4-5). It is easy to fall from our first love by allowing the worldly current in which we live to carry us along so that we live like everyone else, and so instead of living a life of prayer and fasting, we live a life of self-indulgence, pleasure, and entertainment. Instead of having only God for our happiness, we have worldly pleasures that divide our hearts. We should repent of this and return from where we have fallen, be cleansed by the blood of Christ, and live in the nearness of the Lord in joyful and eager expectation for his coming.

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