28th November

In my few words after the gospel (Lk 21:29-33), I spoke about the final verse of the passage: Jesus-the-Jewish-messiah“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

We live in a world of broken promises but if there is one ABSOLUTE we can rely on, it is God’s faithfulness to the promises conveyed in his word. The enduring permanence of the heavens – and the planet earth itself – have no comparison but in the larger expanse of history, a time will come when even these will pass away. The same can not be said however of God’s word which is eternal.

The word and promise of God that I spoke about in particular is a personal favourite: I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me even though he die, yet shall he live; and he who lives and believes in me will never die. (John 11:25-26). What a foundation on which to base our whole life and eternity!

This is a related reflection of St Cyprian on mortality.

We ought never to forget that we have renounced the world. We are living here now as aliens and only for a time. When the day of our homecoming puts an end to our exile, frees us from the bonds of the world, and restores us to paradise and to a kingdom, we should welcome it. What man, stationed in a foreign land, would not want to return to his own country as soon as possible? Well, we look upon paradise as our country, and a great crowd of our loved ones awaits us there, a countless throng of parents, brothers and children longs for us to join them. Assured though they are of their own salvation, they are still concerned about ours. What joy both for them and for us to see one another and embrace! O the delight of that heavenly kingdom where there is no fear of death! O the supreme and endless bliss of everlasting life!

My dear brothers, let all our longing be to join them as soon as we may. May God see our desire, may Christ see this resolve that springs from faith, for he will give the rewards of his love more abundantly to those who have longed for him more fervently.

On the contrary, Garfield’s desires are rather worldly!