Keeping watch: promise

Jesus-Apostles-vine-branch2Promise Amidst Tribulation. 24 “But in those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, 27 and then he will send out the angels and gather (his) elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.

As noted in most outlines, we are jumping into the middle of Mark’s “Oliver Discourse.” Pheme Perkins [691] nicely locates it for us: “Both of the previous sections end with a note of warning to the elect: Persecution requires endurance (v. 13); the presence of false messiahs requires careful attention to the prophecies in the discourse (v. 23). Both sections also assure the faithful that they will be among the elect (vv. 13b, 20b). Thus each unit of prophetic discourse directs the reader’s attention from the present or impending historical experiences of persecution to the culmination of all things at the end time. The faithful testimony of Jesus’ disciples before human courts will assure them that the Son of Man will testify on their behalf in the heavenly court (13:9–13 echoes 8:34–38). A prophecy concerning the coming of the Son of Man to gather the elect now makes explicit the expectations built up in the previous sections.” Continue reading

Veterans Day

Thank-You-Veterans“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

Yesterday I received an email from one of my brother friars. I thought would post its content. The email raised the question – in the light of all the commercial sales and advertisements: Is Veterans Day really a holiday or is it a holy day?

It’s a holy day when we reflect on the many women and men who serve in the military and put their own lives in danger for the freedom we enjoy.

It’s a holy day when we stop our daily life routines to celebrate at a parade, pause our businesses and close our schools to show joy and respect for what our veterans have done for us and our nation, for the rights and freedoms that they have won and protected through all these years.

It’s a holy day when we remember and give thanks to God for our veterans who have returned safely from areas of conflict and war.

It’s a holy day when we stop everything we are doing and consider what government and military benefits, or lack thereof, our veterans who are returning from service find here at home.

It’s a holy day when we feel the pain of guilt and experience the sadness for those veterans who are homeless, disabled from combat wounds, affected by mental, emotional and spiritual agonies and are left alone in their suffering.

It’s a holy day when we mourn our own selfishness for forgetting to thank and be ever grateful to those veterans who have served our country yet feel unappreciated, lonely and forgotten.

To all veterans, today and every day, we say thank you for protecting us and keeping us safe. We bless you, pray for you and pledge to never forget the sacrifices you have made for our country and for us.

Fr. David Convertino, OFM
Executive Director
Holy Name Province – Franciscan Friars
Office of Development