Global warming or Gospel warning?

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Homily for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
(Scripture for today's Mass)

Audio for homily

There’s something ominous in the gospel’s imagery here,
something to pay attention to…

2,000 years after Jesus spoke these words:
we’re still looking up at clouds darkening skies;
we track the speed and power of the four winds
when the heavens are shaken by tornadoes and hurricanes;
we watch as the land bakes in a drought
or is washed away in vicious floods.

Today, we might call this global warming.
Back then, Jesus called it a reminder:
a reminder that in the mystery, 
even in the turbulence of nature,
there is revealed something of who God is and
and his presence among us.

Of course, there’s nothing in what Jesus describes here
that doesn’t occur in every age.

The intensity of nature and our understanding of it might change
but much remains the same, generation after generation.

You see, apocalyptic imagery like this 
is never so much about the future
as it is about the moment at hand.
This gospel is less a prediction of what’s to come
and much more a declaration of what already is.

Imagery like this isn’t meant to frighten us with what’s ahead
but rather it’s meant to comfort and console us,
to announce the victory of hope over despair – even now.

We make a mistake  
if we read these words and come away wondering,
“Well, when will the Lord will come again
in the clouds, in power and glory?”

The mistake would be to miss that he is already here:

- that he’s with us now,
in whatever today’s tribulations might be;

- that he’s with each of us today,
no matter how dark might be the shadows
in my life or in yours; 

- that he’s with us 
in the emotional hurricanes and the spiritual tornadoes
that may be our current “personal weather patterns;”

- that he’s with us through whatever gale-force winds
might bear down on our individual circumstances.

If there’s a warning in the gospel here, it’s this:
if you don’t want to miss the Lord 
when he comes at the end of time,
don’t miss him now, today, while he’s already with us.

- Don’t miss him 
in the smallest of signs:
buds and leaves sprouting on tender branches,
promising a new season and a new reason for hope.

- Don’t miss him 
in the help and comfort others give us
when they reach out to us in our darkest days,
in our most troubled nights.

- Don’t miss him in prayer, 
taking time each day
to recognize his presence in our lives.

- Don’t miss him 
in memories of times past when he walked with us
through trial and tragedy we thought we’d not survive
– but we did – because he was there with his help.

- Don’t miss him 
in the surprise encounters with grace that come,
not by chance but by design, 
to help us through our hard times.

- Don’t miss him 
in the moments and glimpses and flashes of hope
that spark in our minds and our hearts
reminding us that he is with us in Spirit now
and will be with us until the end of time.

And don’t miss him at this table 
where he waits for us to come, every Sunday,
to nourish us with the food of his life, his Body and Blood,
in the sacrament and sacrifice of the Eucharist.

None of us knows, not even the angels know,
the day or the hour when the Lord will come
at the end of time, 
but each of us knows, in faith,
that he comes today and is with us even now
and will see us through tomorrow.


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  1. global warming is a scam, cann anyone please explain why the Ice melted during the last Ice Age? Mammoth on hummer? or what causes the ice to melt during the last dino ice age? Dinosaurs with their factories?

    Or more important of all, what causes earth to cool down prior to the ice age?

    It is a natural cycle.


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