daily biblical sermons

Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Saturday, Last Week of the Year, December 01, 2012
Rev. 22:1-7, Ps. 94, Luke 21:34-36

"But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare" (Luke 21:34).

Today is the last day of the last week of the liturgical year, and we meditate on the last days of the world and the second coming of the Son of Man on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Then he will come with all his saints in great light; and we want to be found by him with pure and undivided hearts, "unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints" (1 Thess. 3:13).

But we now live amid many temptations which can divide and pollute our heart, entangling it in their nets so that we will be unprepared for that day, so that it will catch us off guard, attracted by the delights of this world. In order to be ready for our encounter with the Lord, we need to be prepared now in our whole way of living, keeping watch over our heart and reserving ourselves for the Lord alone with an undivided heart, living in simplicity in all we do. We do not want to be like the seed that fell among thorns, for "they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature" (Luke 8:14). Rather we are to guard ourselves from the pleasures of life, from gluttony and dissipation. "Take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation ... and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare" (Luke 21:34).

"Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts" (Rom. 13:13-14 NKJV). "Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life" (Gal. 6:7-8). "Walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh" (Gal. 5:16-17). "To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace ... for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live" (Rom. 8:6, 13).

It is easy to be attracted by the things of the flesh and divide our heart with them so that we do not love God with all our heart, with a pure and undivided heart. Therefore we must always be on guard, watching so that our heart does not become divided. So "if we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" (Gal. 5:25), for "those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal. 5:24).

"I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left" (Luke 17:34-35). Let us live, therefore, in such a way that we will be taken, not left for destruction, as in the days of Noah and Lot. Let us be like those few who were taken and saved, not like the many who were suddenly destroyed by the flood or by fire and brimstone with no time to repent (Luke 17:26-30). Indeed, the Lord will come suddenly, "for as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of man be in his day" (Luke 17:24). So "take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time will come" (Mark 13:33). We are to be always prepared and ready to welcome the Lord when he comes.

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