Dear Friends in Christ,
Astonishingly, today in the gospel Jesus compares himself to a thief who unpredictably burgles a house. In this and other ways, Jesus teaches graphically that he will return, and that his return will always be a surprise. Yet his return must not catch us unawares: ‘Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning.’
Our lives of faith can become flat and lack any sense of excitement or urgency. What can inspire us? We need an element of tension to move us from apathy to zeal. God gives us the spur we need – the return of the Lord. He will come back – and when we least expect it! To create that sense of tension we must reject all unbelief that would convince us that whilst the Lord may be coming back, it will certainly not be in our lifetime. Such an assumption sets itself against Jesus’ own words. It is also foolish, for his return could occur as soon as tomorrow or it may delay until sometime after our death.
People are often afraid of dealing with their fears. The Late Pope John Paul II said: ‘Christians are exhorted to prepare for the Great Jubilee of the beginning of the Third Millennium by renewing their hope in the definitive coming of the Kingdom of God, preparing for it daily in their hearts, in the Christian community to which they belong, in their particular social context, and in world history itself.’ The surest way to prepare our hearts for the second coming is to ask the Holy Spirit to give us a hunger, thirst and longing for it.