From the Pastor – November 30, 2014

Jesus said to his disciples:“Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.” (Mt. 13:33)

One might hope that Jesus would announce His Second Coming simultaneously through a text message, Twitter, Facebook, a Google News Alert, PSA’s on all of the broadcast and cable television and radio stations simultaneously!  Because if that were the case, He’d be bound to reach 90% of the world population who are immersed in technology through tv, radio, the internet and cell phones.

But I don’t think that’s the “watching” that Jesus is calling us to engage in.  In fact, I don’t really think He’stalking about our using our “eyes” at all.  Jesus does say “watch!” as the last word in this Sunday’s Gospel.  And that word comes from the Greek word ?????????? (gregoreite) really has less to do with “looking” and “seeing” and more to do with “being alert” and “staying awake.” “Staying awake” means being prepared to greet Our Lord when He comes.

So how do we “stay awake”?  Over the last several years we’ve heard about the Catholic Church for fighting for “conscience clauses” in healthcare legislation.  Basically, what the bishops have been arguing is that Catholic healthcare providers shouldn’t have to engage in medical practices (abortions, sterilizations, prescribing contraception) that are contrary to natural law and the Catholic faith. But some Catholics disagree.

What is this “conscience thing”? When we ignore our conscience, whether for financial gain, political expediency, momentary pleasure, or the lust for power, then we are falling into the trappings of the world, and the trappings of the world are the snares of the devil.

“Staying awake” means being conscious of the state of our immortal soul. It means keeping ourselves in a state of grace.  It means confessing mortalsins, repenting for our preoccupation with the darkness of world, and reaching for the light of Heaven.“Staying awake” means keeping that “conscience thing” alive so that we can strive for everlasting life.  We begin Advent this weekend.  It’s a time to remember Christ’s first coming and to prepare for His Second.  And we do so by remembering to keep that “conscience thing” intact.

(Rev. Msgr.) Christopher H. Nalty