Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever!
There was once a news story about a woman who leaped out of the sunroof of her moving car on the highway. She was apparently convinced that the Second Coming or the “Rapture” was occurring when she saw 12 people floating into the air, and a man on the side of the road whom she thought was Jesus. A 22-car pile-up resulted.
The man dressed like Jesus said he was on his way to a costume party when the tarp covering the bed of his pickup truck came loose and released twelve blow-up dolls filled with helium which floated into the air. The woman’s husband said, “She loves Jesus more than anything. But this is all just too weird for me.”
Have you noticed a “weird” frenzy of interest in the end times, especially “The Rapture?” The Rapture is not Catholic tradition. It is a theory from the 1800’s that some day before the end of the world, Jesus will “disappear” the true believers away, and this will usher in a chaotic time of intense suffering, before the actual end of the world. The Church tells us not to speculate about these things—because the “hot debate” in our culture usually focuses on fear, terror, and the hideous disasters which they say God will create. Catholics should not be taken in by this “horror-fest.”
Yes, the cosmos will surely come to an end eventually. But we take a true God-centered perspective: The signs of the “end times,” however, and whenever they may occur, are not the big news. The Apocalypse or end of the world means one amazing thing: Love has triumphed! Our God has come! Evil is forever defeated!
The end of the world will bring God’s huge mercy, love and compassion to a magnificent fulfillment. Coming face to face with our God is something to rejoice in—not to fear.
In my name, in the name of Father Chris, Msgr. Tom Salemi, Father Dave Baratelli, our deacons, religious sisters, our parish staff, Principals and staffs of St. Rose High School and St. Rose Grammar School, we wish you and your family a blessed and joyous Thanksgiving! May God from whom all blessings flow continue to bless you with good health, peace, and an assurance of His abiding presence. Thank You for all you do for St. Rose Parish and Schools. A helpful suggestion: Steps Toward Gratitude: 1. If you keep a journal, write down three new things every day—good or bad—for which you would like to be grateful. 2. Google and watch Benedictine Brother David Steindl-Rast’s TED talk, “Want to be Happy? Be Grateful.” Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving! May God bless you, keep you in His Love, and always find in you a grateful heart!
Listen to my homily today:
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish