How easy it can be to ignore the Lord when He does not live up to our expectations

By Abbot Owen Purcell

Our Sunday readings bring us face to face with what we call the “end times.” The Gospel reading today this First Sunday of Advent, urges us to “be vigilant at all times” for the signs of the coming of the Lord. We are willing to do that! The fact is that these “end times” seem so out of range and distant that we largely are unconcerned. We ask just what does this have to do with six Sunni Iraqis being doused with kerosene and set on fire by Shias?

Just this! If that group of angry Shias had NOT set the six helpless Shias on fire after they had been at prayers there would have been one less act of hatred in a day and a country filled with hatred. If those Shias had chosen a path of love or had been vigilant and NOT harmed those Sunnis, the next day 22 Shias shot by Sunnis in revenge would be alive today. The hatred multiplies!

Just think that if you and I had been vigilant yesterday and had turned away from gossip or refused to forgive a neighbor, the Kingdom of God would have been closer to completion. There are many comings of Christ. How easy it can be to ignore the Lord when He does not measure up to our expectations!

We ask ourselves at the beginning of Advent or at the beginning of any day at any season: Will I today create a climate of hate, evil, and revenge? Or will I today create a climate of love, mercy, and forgiveness. The choice is ours to wound or to pour oil and wine on the wounds.

For more homilies by Abbot Owen, click here

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