Today’s gospel from Saint Matthew tells us that some people were rebuked by the Lord because their faith did not recognize the time when the kingdom of heaven was at hand.
Jesus’ forerunner, John the Baptist began his preaching in today’s reflection by warning: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 3:2
To all Christians, we should be careful to pay attention. For over 2000 years predictors have predicted--all to no avail. The gospel says:” If anyone says to you then, ‘Look here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it…For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be." Matthew 24:22-27
Saint Augustine (354-430) once said: “Each of us would be wise therefore to take to heart the advice of his teacher, and not waste this present time.
It is now that our Savior offers us his mercy; now, while he still spares the human race. Understand that it is in hope of our conversion that he spares us, for he desires no one’s damnation.
As for when the end of the world will be, that is God’s concern. Now is the time for faith.
Whether any of us here present will see the end of the world I know not; very likely none of us will. Even so, the time is very near for each of us, for we are mortal. There are hazards all around us.” (Sermon 109, 1: PL 38, 636)
Now is the time for faith!
Looking forward means leaving the past behind. Today our faith should guide us to receive John’s friendly reminder to repent in anticipation of the Lord’s return.
We would do well to begin right now to turn away from the ways of the world and back to God. God's love is the source of our joy, hope and peace.