By Fr. Tony Fortman, C.PP.S.
Today we begin advent. We joyfully await Jesus’ birth. This is also a time when we will hear about Jesus’ second coming. Jesus tells us today, “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Jesus tells us to be ready. There are two things we can count on: our death and Jesus’ second coming. There is an old Precious Blood saying, “Life is short and death is sure the time of death remains obscure. A soul you have and only one if that be lost all hope is gone.” We are here to get out of here. St. Gaspar, our founder, said, “What a beautiful thing to think of your death.”
Jesus is coming again. Be vigilant. He can come today or two thousand years from now. Scripture tells us that even Jesus does not know when he will come back to earth. I always find that statement odd, because I thought the Trinity knows everything about each other. We are to pray that we have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man. I believe Jesus is not speaking about physical strength but spiritual strength. Some people are a sturdy shelter. You can tell in their eyes that they have God by their side all the time. So, if you have a choice of going to the gym and lifting weights or praying, I would pray. There is another saying, “If you kneel before God, you can stand before anyone.” Jesus makes us strong both physically and spiritually. I call it the Jesus juice. We all need that juice.
Jesus, may we all be ready when we die or when you come again.
Fr. Tony Fortman, C.PP.S., is the pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Glandorf, Ohio.