Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ,
From my younger days in Wellington's Saint Pauls Cathedral Choir , I shall always remember our Dean Walter Hurst reading the gospel for today from Saint Luke , chapter 21 beginning at verse 25 " At that time Jeus said unto his disciples:And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken."When you are young life is so exciting and you dont think deeply to what is being said by Jesus.
When you mature and get older, hopefully you have come to realize that this world we live in has definetely become a place of distress. Look at the threat of a nuclear war, look at the tight situation in the middle East, look at the immigration problems experience by many European countries, where because of vast increase in Muslem population, one start loosing its own identity, including the deminishing of the Christian Religion. Countries such as America, Russia and China are all flexing their muscles and there is constant feeling of mistrust amongst them. There are many more horrible things to mention today, we are asking ourselves as Catholic Christians to how long all this is continuing to go on. We are sometimes frightened by it all and we need courage for the future.
But.. if we read the rest of this gospel carefully , then we realize that it contains good news for those, who love the Lord. Living in this world , is like living in the winter, with its barren trees and fields. Jesus goes on to tell us the parable of the figtree and in fact all the trees, when you see when they shoot forth you know that the tide is changing and the summer is at hand.
In the same way, all of a sudden when these frightening things are happening around us , then we know that the Kingdom of God is at hand and the Son of men is returning in a cloud with power and great glory.
Remember that all the world's power brokers such as Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong Un, they will not last , but pass away. Jesus said: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
A very comforting message at the end of the gospel for today. Are we working hard towards the coming of God's Kingdom here on earth? Are you and I ready to receive Jesus when He comes again. Lets pray for the Lord to come and set us free.
Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province,
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne,