Thursday, November 29, 2012

Called To The Wedding Feast

Called To The Wedding Feast

November 29, 2012
Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

"With such force will Babylon the great city be thrown down, and will never be found again.  No melodies of harpists and musicians, flutists and trumpeters, will ever be heard in you again.  No craftsmen in any trade will ever be found in you again.  No sound of the millstone will ever be heard in you again.  No light from a lamp will ever be seen in you again.  No voices of bride and groom will ever be heard in you again.  Because your merchants were the great ones of the world, all nations were led astray by your magic potion."  Revelation 18:21b-23

"There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.  People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand."  Luke 21:25-28


Jesus of Nazareth cordially invites you to a dinner to be held in his honor on Sunday and everyday at the church of your choice. Come as you are. 


With these end of time readings, we have to be careful not to take the poetry of Revelation too literally.  We might be tempted to mistake a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy or other earthquakes and tsunamis for the end of the world.  We might be tempted to mistake the uprisings in the Middle East for the past two years (twenty years, two hundred years, two thousand years) as signs that the armies are circling Jerusalem.
We may be teetering on a fiscal cliff, a political abyss, an entertainment morass, or a social septic tank.  But these issues may not be any worse than we experienced ten years ago or during the second World War or the Depression. 
We have lived through dark times before and survived.  The assassination of President Kennedy and Rev. Martin Luther King.  The War in Viet Nam and the protests.  The death of Dorothy Day on this date in 1980.  The stock market crashes of 1987 and 2008.  The Challenger explosion.  Many of us will never forget where we were when we heard and lived through some of these or other traumatic stories.
But as these events swirl around us, the readings today show us that we have a choice.  We can succumb to the temptations and attractions of the world or we can answer the invitation to the wedding feast of the Lamb. 
Perhaps the words of Joshua come to mind to remind us of the path we are asked to walk:  "If it is displeasing to you to serve the LORD, choose today whom you will serve, the gods your ancestors served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling. As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15


What magic potion is leading us astray?  More precisely, what variety of magic potions are all working their spells on our lives to draw us away from the wedding feast?
Do the bells of St. Mary's pull you in?  Or are you being wooed by the "siren song" of holiday advertising, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and the 26 shopping days left to Christmas?
Do the news heads pull you into the endless cycle of cable/radio/newspaper/internet news -- basically covering the same stories over and over and over and over again?  You could put down that remote and read a book instead. 
Are you tempted by the sights and sounds and smells of the local restaurant and bar scene?  No need to put off the diet resolution until the New Year.  You can vow to be sensible with food and drink throughout the holidays. 
Is your elixir called workaholism?  Maybe this coming Advent season is a time to Be. Still. And. Know. That. I. Am. God.

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