Wisdom 18:14-16; 19:6-9
Today’s Gospel leaves us with a question that surely crosses the minds of us all at one time or another:
"But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
I wonder about this question frequently and find myself answering it in diverse ways over and over again. The Lord is going to come again, we know that for sure. But when he does, what will he find? Will he be pleased or will he be disappointed? Usually my questioning leads me in two different directions depending upon current events unfolding around me. When a psychiatrist, a major in the U.S. Army, whose primary responsibility is to bring healing and wholeness to wounded bodies and minds of young infantry personnel, instead loses a sense of his own self and wreaks death and sorrow rather than healing I find myself thinking, "If the Lord were to come now how terribly disappointed he would be!" Then there are other times when my response is so very different. For example, just the other day I was able to welcome back into the Church an elderly and very, very lovely married couple who many years ago had simply opted out for no reason in particular. Their lives remained very loving, of that there is no doubt. But what a joyous moment to reconcile them with the community of the Church and to invite them to receive the precious gift of the Eucharist. In just a few more days they will celebrate 60 years married! It is in moments such as these that I think if the Lord were to come he would be pleased and overjoyed with the goodness that he would find. Will he find faith on earth? Will he find us living as if faith really makes a difference in the daily grind?
Fr. Pat Brennan, CP is the director of Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.