My children enjoy reading books in the "Pick Your Own Adventure" series. These books are written with multiple endings. At several critical points in the story, the author asks the reader to choose what should happen. The ending of the story varies depending upon the reader's answers. My kids often re-read the story and change their answers until they find the happy ending.
Jesus, the Author of Life (Acts 3:15), likewise longs for a glorious ending for each of us. On this last day of the Church year, He is pausing the story to put before us the following choice:
- Will you escape from reality through immersion in TV, movies, sports, tobacco, alcohol, or other substances? (Lk 21:34) Will you be absorbed in "worldly cares"? (Lk 21:34) Will you deny Jesus' kingship over you through a lifestyle which ignores Him? If you answered "No," skip to the final paragraph. If you answered "Yes," continue.
If you ignore Jesus' warnings about the last day and do not change your lifestyle accordingly, "the great day will suddenly close in on you like a trap" (Lk 21:34). "There will be no escape" (1 Thes 5:3). After your last day on earth, the season of His mercy will be over and all that remains is "a fearful expectation of judgment and a flaming fire to consume the adversaries of God" (Heb 10:27). Therefore, repent now! (Sir 5:8-9; 2 Cor 6:2)
If you accept Jesus as your Lord on His terms, you will choose holiness daily (Mt 6:33) and live your Baptismal immersion in Him instead of being immersed in the things of the world. You will be a holy child of God and will possess His kingdom forever (Dn 7:18, 22, 27). "Let this, then, be the end" (2 Mc 15:39).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2005 through November 30, 2005.
†Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 21, 2005.