Friday, October 16, 2009

Darkness, judgment & the end of the church year

Musing again on this dark, cold rainy October night What weather could be more fitting for these final weeks of the Church Year? There is something about this time each year between September and Christ the King. We hear readings which mirror the fading year - readings that remind us there will be an end time and judgment, a harvest of souls... Soon, in November, we will remember the souls of the departed. Here is truly where Church Year and physical season intersect to create layers of meaning.

I recently had the opportunity to record the proclamation of the Gospel of the day for this coming Monday to be a part of the morning prayer for the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association's online evangelization conference next week, Proclaiming Christ It is the parable of the man whose farming business was going so well that he decided to build more barns to contain his harvests and possessions, smugly storing up his good things. Yet, God declares him a fool and demands his life, asking him what good his things are in the face of death. And Jesus reminds us that instead of earthly treasure, we should be rich in the things that are important to God.

Interesting that for us, at this time of year in America, farms are literally in the harvest-time. Interesting too, that we have watched, over the past months of economic crisis, people being forced to come to grips with what is really important in life. Yes, there will be, for each of us, an end, a time to let go, whether we are ready or not. (I know the reality of this even more strongly now as I work through challenges of sorting through mountains of possessions left behind by someone close to me who was very tied to his many collections...)

So, what are the things that are important to God that we can claim as our "possessions"? And how do we make them our priorities in a world focused on "getting and spending?"

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