Friday, November 28, 2014

According to Their Deeds

Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney

I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and the scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. (Revelation 20:12-13)

Here God lives among his people. (Revelation 21:3b)

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Luke 21:33)

May he support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done! Then in his mercy may he give us safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last! –Blessed John Henry Newman

I recently found myself back in a familiar place. It’s not one I visit as often as I once did, but I still end up there from time to time when things are confusing or uncertain. It’s the place where I’m blunt to the point of rudeness or cruelty, sometimes to people I know who have no more control over the situation than I do. It’s not a happy place for me or them.

Put me in the same situation these days around people who don’t know me so well, and I come off as an earth mother sort, defusing the tension with “pithy” sayings such as “Oh, well, no one’s life or salvation is in danger” or “If that’s the worst thing that happens to any of us today, it’ll be a good day.”

The Book of Revelation provides us with some fantastic, mind-stretching images. But today’s first reading isn’t difficult to envision at all. In praying over it, I could well imagine what’s written on those scrolls from the times I fail to muster up self-control and equanimity. Pain. Sadness. Hurt. And I resolved anew that going forward, with the Lord’s help there will be fewer and fewer of those entries.

What is written on the scrolls from your Thanksgiving Day? Did you love or injure? Help or hinder? What will be written today and tomorrow?

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