The Liturgical year is coming to a close, and the readings are a summons to wake up out of complacency, for the End Time is approaching. The end of the church year and the end of time are realities that remind us time continues to pass and our direction must always be forward. Yes, we move forward anchored in faith and community, but we must continue to move forward.
It is so easy to bemoan the times in which we live, so much so, that we yearn for a return to an idealized past that never really existed in the first place. It only exists in our imagination. There is much to be concerned about: the use of technology, family life, the value of human life and a growing materialism. In every age and time, humanity has had to struggle with something.
The truth us we can’t keep looking back. In the gospel, jesus tells the disciples to remember what happened to Lot’s wife in the Book of Genesis. She was told to NOT turn back and look at the devastation occurring to Sodom. But she turned around and looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. We will never know exactly why she turned to have a look but the directions were clear: continue to move forward….don’t look back!!!
We need to keep moving forward in a spirit of optimism and hope, that people can change and new, life-giving directions can unfold. The church can never try to “look back” to times when everything seemed so neat and clean and everyone was on the same page theologically. These times never existed. The church has lived through countless controversies and divisions in its past. It will continue to do so until jesus returns and brings chronological time to a close.
We must move forward in a unity of faith, the faith as prayed in the Creed every week, and within a community of believers. We must “lose ourself,” as jesus teaches…we must lose the self that needs to control, the self that manipulates, the self that lives in fear, the self that must be at the center of the world. As we move forward in time, we “lose” this destructive and sinful self that turns our spirits into a “pillar of salt.” And we allow the Self, created in God’ s Image, to emerge from the shadows.
This is a slow, lifelong process, a process that always leads to new beginnings, new years, new life….
ADVENT!!!! The church year ends and Advent begins… The season of waiting in Hope as we continue to move forward and not looking back.
Buen camino. Padre