Today is the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – and it’s a shame that Tim LaHaye wasn’t with me at Mass this morning.
You see, in the Epistle we hear St. Paul using the very language that LaHaye and his followers base their “rapture” theology on:
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 italics mine)
But the solution to all of this rapture talk is foun in the words of Jesus from Matthew’s Gospel reading for today:
Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:10-13 italics mine)
Throughout the Gospels we hear the words of our Lord consistently urging us to be on guard, to be prepared for we know not when He will come again.
But the success of LaHaye’s Left Behind series shows that so many Christians do NOT heed these words of Jesus. They prefer to look for signs and clues – both in Sacred Scripture and in other places as well.
Tomorrow is promised to no one, folks – it’s as clear as that. Live each day of your life expecting and desiring that our Lord would return. Instead of waiting for the Kingdom – make it present by doing what Jesus commanded of you: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick & imprisoned.
Who wants to be a foolish virgin when the bridegroom arrives? Or worse yet, who wants to be a goat when they are separated from the sheep?
God bless you all that serve our Lord faithfully, diligently and quietly. Your reward in heaven will be great.