Matthew 24:37-44: 37 For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 In (those) days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. 39 They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be (also) at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be out in the field; one will be taken, and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken, and one will be left. 42 Therefore, stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. 43 Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. 44 So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
Matthew’s Pastoral Concerns. John Meier (Matthew,291) notes that a good part of Ch. 24 in Matthew is spent in attempting to calm off-based eschatological (end-time) fervor and calculation. Something that even in our day has become a cottage industry as folks pore over Daniel and Revelation attempting to “crack the code” about the end-time when/where. The three rapid-fire parables in our gospel reading attempt to establish a proper eschatological fervor (watchfulness). The three parables (the generation of Noah, the two pairs of workers, and the thief in the night) announce the major theme of the second part of the discourse: vigilance and preparedness for the coming [parousia] of the Son of Man. Continue reading
Just some snippets which I wanted to share….
Para 22: “God’s word is unpredictable in its power. The Gospel speaks of a seed which, once sown, grows by itself, even as the farmer sleeps (Mk 4:26-29). The Church has to accept this unruly freedom of the word, which accomplishes what it wills in ways that surpass our calculations and ways of thinking.”
Para 24: “An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:19), and therefore we can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast. Such a community has an endless desire to show mercy, the fruit of its own experience of the power of the Father’s infinite mercy. Let us try a little harder to take the first step and to become involved. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The Lord gets involved and he involves his own, as he kneels to wash their feet. He tells his disciples: “You will be blessed if you do this” (Jn 13:17). An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives; it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary, and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others.”
Pope Francis has issues an apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, “The Joy of the Gospel.” You can find the full text of the document here. I am in the midst of reading it, but I suspect other such as Fr. James Martin, SJ, will have far more insightful thoughts. So far here is one of my favorite lines: “The Church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open.”
Here are preliminary thoughts from Fr. Martin’s Facebook page. I think he will publish later on the “American Magazine” website Continue reading