The Lord has given us Christians the privileged information that He is coming back when we least expect Him. Because of this foreknowledge, we have a greater responsibility to be prepared, for "when much has been given a man, much will be required of him" (Lk 12:48).
To be prepared for Christ's final coming and to avoid getting bogged down in problems with personal relationships, we must resist three temptations. First, we must not "abuse the housemen and servant girls" (Lk 12:45). We must not abuse people in any way, including manipulation, gossip, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness. Second, we must follow the Lord in lighting a fire on the earth (Lk 12:49), although this may surface division in our family (Lk 12:51ff). By God's grace, division that is acknowledged and brought to the Lord usually gives way to family harmony. Third, we must "try to settle" with our opponents as soon as possible (Lk 12:58). In other words, we must love and forgive our enemies immediately.
As we prepare for Jesus' final coming, let's lead people to the Lord and not be obstacles to their salvation. Moreover, let's not allow people to impede our preparation. Resist temptation, obey the Lord, love and forgive, and cry out: "Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!"
|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, 2008 through November 30, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008.