Thursday, December 18, 2014

Conducting Ourselves in Holiness and Devotion

December 18, 2014

The second reading at Mass on Sunday, December 7, struck a chord with me.  It is from the second letter of St. Peter, Chapter 3, verses 8-14.  Commentaries I have read say that there were some in the new faith community who were growing impatient waiting for the return of Christ and were expressing a sort of “anxious disappointment.”  They were even beginning to doubt that He would return at all!  That, despite Christ’s own words to the contrary, saying that it is impossible to know when.  (How shocked would they be today, knowing that it is nearly 2000 years later and we are still waiting!)  Peter was attempting to dispel their concerns, telling them that “with the Lord, one day is like a thousand years.”  He goes on to say that the Lord does not delay his promise, as these early Christians consider “delay.”  He says that the Lord simply wants all to come to repentance and was only giving the early Christians the time to do that.  So, the Lord will come in His own time. I say “thank you” to St. Peter for nipping this disappointment in the bud!

What really got me going, though, was what St. Peter taught a few verses later.  He said that since the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and that the earth will be dissolved by fire, we should be conducting ourselves “in holiness and devotion” while we wait.  In due time, there will be “new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”  So we must “await these things (with patience), and be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.”  Now we could have a glorious faith/science debate over this.  What exactly will happen?  Will there be an asteroid on a collision course with the earth?  Will there be simultaneous earthquakes occurring worldwide, causing the Earth to simply explode in a fiery catastrophe?  Or maybe global warming will prevail in a fiery end to everything.  No one knows.  But what we do know is that it is important for us to conduct ourselves in holiness and devotion until that day comes, whenever and whatever it will be.  My prayer for today is this:  Lord, please give us the grace to conduct ourselves as you expect, with holiness and devotion, so that we will be found at peace before you, and without spot or blemish.  Amen

For the full text of Chapter 3 of St. Peter's second letter, click here:

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