What If Jesus Came Tomorrow?
Feb. 11, 2008
Readings: Lev 19:1-2, 11-18; Mt 25:31-46
"Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me." Mt 25:40
A popular bumper sticker states: "Jesus is coming. Look busy!"
Such humor often draws its effectiveness from uncomfortable truths. In this case, the fact that Jesus is coming means He's coming to enact final judgment. While that's good news for those who have lived by His example, it's bad news for those who must suddenly "look busy." Obviously, up to that point anyway, they've shirked their obligations to live lives that would please Him. Make no mistake, Jesus is coming, and our lives will be judged. How will we fare?
Saint Francis was once cultivating a row of beans in his garden when a pilgrim approached and asked, "What would you be doing now if you knew this was the last day of your earthly life?" Saint Francis smiled and replied: "I would keep on hoeing."
What if we learned Jesus was to come tomorrow? Would we feel as St. Francis did, confident in our preparation for the day of judgment? We have no excuse for feeling otherwise. It's not as if Jesus cloaks His expectations of us in obscurity. He wants us to be saved, and He tells us in no uncertain terms what we must do. He blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and needy, and He rebukes those who turn away from them. Indeed, by tending to the needs of sufferers — by engaging in acts of mercy and charity — we minister to the Lord Himself. Like an alarm bell, the Lord became man to serve as a wake-up call to the desperate needs of the world. When we lead lives like Christ did in this world, caring for the needy, we will not be condemned.
If someone says to you, "Jesus is coming. Look busy!" your reply should be, "I am busy!"
Dear Lord, may I see Your face in the needy of this world — including the sick, the poor, and the imprisoned. May my heart be filled with urgency to act on their behalf in honor of You. Amen.
2 Cor 5:10
2 Thess 1:5-10
Diary of St. Faustina