I have to chuckle when I hear people begin to tell me, “The end of the world is coming! We are in the End Times!” It reminds me completely of today’s Gospel. Jesus is asked, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” He replies, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.” He goes on to tell the disciples to be weary of those who say, “Look! There it is!” don’t run after and pursue them. Jesus says it will come but you will not see it. It will come at an unexpected time and hour. Be watchful and ready. In other words, live your life as if He were coming tomorrow. We are already in the End Times since the day Jesus ascended into heaven. And yes we should watch for His second coming.
But how am I supposed to know it if I’m not to trust when people say, “There it is!”? For that I want to remind you that Jesus promised, “I will be with you till the end of the age.” How does He do that? Two ways. In the Eucharist and by the Holy Spirit who comes to us in the sevenfold gifts; wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord (holy awe). Let us go to the first reading to see how that looks.
In Wisdom is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, Manifold, subtle, agile, clear, unstained, certain, Not baneful, loving the good, keen, unhampered, beneficient, kindly, Firm, secure, tranquil, all-powerful, all-seeing, and pervading all spirits, though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle. That is a very long list to go by. We should test everything by these words. You might be thinking, that is very long list how am I supposed to remember everything? There is a basic principle that shouts out above all things, “It will be good, true, beautiful, peaceful, constant, and holy.” Yes, things may be peaceful beautiful great but something may not feel right. Listen to those checks. Our spirits are made to know authenticity and there will be an ever present hunger and persistence for the truth. We will have sorrow and something pushing and pursuing us with restlessness if we don’t.
We may convince ourselves everything is just fine, but deep down it is not. This is the process of discernment. All of us go through it. We all make mistakes and are fallible. That is where we can be so thankful for the authority and protection of the Church with the Magisterium and the Holy Father. Christ is coming. Are you ready?
(Wisdom 7:22b-8:1 Psalm 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175 Luke 17:20-25 John 15:5)