This past year we were blessed to have Holy Father Francis visit us here in the United States. The humility and grace he brings to the Office of the successor of St. Peter draws people closer to him. People often remark, “he’s an ordinary ‘Joe,’ a transparent image of what Jesus really is.” I’m impressed that in whatever environment I find myself people who I know are not Catholic, come forward and just begin speaking about how incredible our Father Francis is and how they could listen to him all the day long. This weekend the Church celebrates Jesus Christ the King of the Universe. The prophetic book of Daniel assists us in awaiting with great expectation the arrival of “The Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven” Daniel 7:13. In the Gospel of John we witness Jesus before the governor Pilate who is in dialogue with Jesus. “So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, ‘You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice’” John 18:37. The last book in the Bible, Revelation sums it up well: “Behold, he is coming amid the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him” Rev 1:7. When the Lord comes again we will be keenly aware if we had recognized Jesus as he walked among us. As good students, disciples, did we listen and study His words and lessons. Were we able to recognize Him in our shepherds? Most importantly, did we make His lessons of life our own, repent of our sin, and be transformed by His Spirit? This is the last judgment. At the end of our Holy Father Francis’ visit to the US a facebook post showed a split screen image. The bottom image was Pope Francis visiting with fellow passengers on the American Airlines Jet that would take them all to Rome Italy. The image above that one was a photo of “feel good” televangelist Joel Osteen examining paper texts while sitting in his private corporate jet on journey to his next appointment. The caption read: “Which Shepherd do you follow?” Lord Jesus, help us to recognize you within our world, hear and follow your voice until you come again. Amen.
WE’RE LEAVE THE LIGHTS ON FOR YOU…. In most of all Catholic Churches throughout the Diocese of Buffalo, confessions will be available every Wednesday during our Advent Season from December 2nd to the 23rd from 5:00PM to 7:00PM. At each of our three churches: St. Martin de Porres, St. Lawrence, and Nativity we’ll be leaving the “Lights on for YOU!” Come and prepare your heart to celebrate the birth of our Savior worthily and well.