November 30, 2008


What I say to you I say to all: Watch! – Mk 13: 37

The season of Advent, which begins today, is a time when we are invited to look ahead; to dream dreams about the long range future of God’s creative order; to plan ahead for the part we must play in the building of God’s kingdom. Each of us has the responsibility & the power to make real the presence of God in history & in the lives of others. In today’s Gospel, our Lord tells us that the fulfillment of this active role in God’s plan demands our constant attention & vigilance.

We must be constantly alert to the reality of God’s presence in every aspect of our human experience: in marriage, in parenting, in work, in play. God’s presence in our wonderful world is the basis for understanding that we are all going somewhere together, the basis for even seeing that our world really IS wonderful.

Albert Einstein once said:

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art & true science. He who does not know it & can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. It was the experience of mystery … that engendered religion.”

There is no single thing on earth about which we have total knowledge because all creation is permeated with the ultimate Mystery which is God. Consider the mystery of life as it unfolds in a marriage relationship. There is always some new discovery to be made; surprises keep on happening. The full mystery of the “other” is never solved.

A reverence for the awesome, wondrous mystery of the “other” is the key to a wholesome husband & wife relationship, & all other human relationships for that matter. Non-reverence for the “other” implies a desire to dominate, to program the other. A regimen of mutual programming is not only a sure guarantee of a dull marriage, it is all too often the recipe for a disastrous one. What is needed is a sense of awe & wonder; an attitude of “expecting the unexpected;” a willingness to admit that the way I would like things to be is not necessarily the way things will be, or even should be. We must be constantly alert to the beautiful possibilities inherent in all God’s children.

Final judgment is reserved for the blessed “end time,” “the day of the Lord Jesus Christ” when, indeed, we may expect the unexpected. If we imagine that we really know how it will all turn out at that moment of ultimate Truth, then we have deluded ourselves into thinking we can program God.

“As to the exact day or hour, no one knows it … only the Father.” Only this much we do know: the future is ours because we are God’s children, & He will never abandon us! AMEN!