32nd Sunday Ordinary Time – Which World? Which Ending?
Do we live now in apocalyptic times? When either fears of asteroids, North Korea, Yellowstone, or drastic weather reprisals occupy the minds of many. It all causes me a treat deal of anxiety. You?
So, Matthew continues his “end of world” discourse here in chapter 25: “Keep awake, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour [when the bridegroom will return.]
Which world? For decades, I held the image of the entire earth being destroyed and Jesus coming on the clouds of heaven – “And all eyes shall see him!” (which only works in a flat earth, BTW.)
I don’t buy that now. I now believe that this great and wonderful earth will remain through it all. We humans may be malicious enough to end the race, leaving all things to the cockroaches. It is possible.
However, it’s my little world, the world in which I see myself as the Grand Poobah of everyone and everything, that has to end. This is the world fueled by fear, resentment, and demands that you all take care of my every need that is to end…
Not my biological life. Not all biological life on earth. Not our great planet.
As Virginians say, “Virginia is for Lovers.” Inasmuch as I attempt to keep my little world intact, to save me from falling apart, Purgatory becomes my place as a Procrastinator. You?
And, dang if it isn’t true, that crisis and loss seem to be the main things that actually DO bring my little world to an end. (Of course, that sucks.)
Crises: Aaron Rogers – out for the season to the despair of Packer fans; Harvey Weinstein’s world of power and domination over women ended; Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. – their worlds ended.
Crises: The continued threatening rhetoric between our president and that of North Korea keeps the threat of a crisis hovering over us.
Loss: I presided at the funeral of the wife of one of my good high school buddies last Thursday and Friday. Her death was sudden and unexpected.
Crises and loss leave us gutted most often. Our guts laid out. Pain, deep sighs, anger, tears, and the like.
In our days, it seems that crises and losses are the main ways our worlds end. Sometimes in the aftermath, we might become willing to look to Christ to tell us how to live in a new way in which we come to treasure our powerlessness, poverty, and vulnerability… and not be driven by the fear of them. That’s the new creation.