From the Pastor – August 7, 2022

Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. (Lk 12:39-40).

There are two ways by which we will see God face-to-face: upon our death or at the time of the Second Coming.  And the truth is that we really don’t know when either of those events might occur!

Several years ago, I was the celebrant at two funeral Masses in a few days that marked a real contrast.  The first funeral was of a young, 18-year-old boy in the beginning of a promising life.  And the second was of a 93-year-old great-grandfather.  Although it’s certain that only God knows the state of their souls at their death, we prayed at both funeral Masses that God would be merciful to them.  And we commended them to Heaven.

But there was one difference between the two of them.  The 93-year-old grandfather knew that the Lord was near.  He knew that he was nearing the end of his life.  And he did everything that he could to prepare for it.  He went to Confession; he received the Sacrament of Holy Anointing; he asked for the Holy Mass to be celebrated in his room next to his bed; and he surrounded himself with his family who prayed the Rosary unceasingly for him during his final illness.  And the 18-year-old boy?  He had no time to prepare.  The Lord came for him “like a thief in the night,” and he died alone in his bedroom.  Did he have any inkling that the Son of Man was coming to him?  By all accounts and circumstances, he didn’t.

Throughout the earthly life of Jesus, He warned us that our time is short.  And it is.  Whether we live 18 years or 93 years, it passes very quickly (although it didn’t seem that way in high school!).  Because of that, we should always have a sense of “urgency” to our faith.  If we have mortal sins on our soul, it’s urgent that we go to Confession.  If we are engaged in habitual sin, it’s urgent that we work on correcting it.  If we are living in a state of sin (an irregular marriage, an illicit relationship, or a morally sinful relationship), it’s urgent that we recognize it and work to restore ourselves to God’s grace through Confession with a firm intention to amend our lives.

We will see the Lord face-to-face.  It’s only a matter of time.  And we will be judged; that’s a fact.  And all of those things about ourselves that we were “going to do something about some day” will be before His eyes. Will we have done something about them? Remember, He will come again to separate the sheep from the goats.  I know on what side of the fence I want to be found!

(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty