Monday, January 10, 2011

People Get Ready

“So now I will deal with you in my own way, O Israel, and since I will deal thus with you, prepare to meet your God…” Amos 4:12

Is it snowing where you live? Or is snow forecasted for your area? Or have you ever lived somewhere that the forecast was calling for snow? Because let me tell you: people get cah-razy! You know what I’m saying? Try going to the grocery store for your regular shopping. Try getting to the gas station. Try getting home from work or school on time. People start getting ready like it is the end of the world. There could be less than an inch predicted and things get cancelled, people purchase 8 gallons of milk, toilet paper shelves are stripped bare and people purchase snow shovels, ice melt, ice scrapers, and sand by the boatload. And we won’t even go into the lines at the video rental stores and kiosks. It seems as if some kind of preternatural state takes over in peoples’ minds and they stop thinking rationally and simply prepare to bunker down for days on end. I often wonder how much food gets thrown out across the northern regions of America days after a small snow storm.

Of course the reason why all of this seems so crazy is because we know that except in certain cases or in severe snow storms, the trucks and plows with road preparation materials are out doing their important work the minute the snow starts (and sometimes even before) and that in fairly short order considering what they are dealing with, most major roads around civilization are fairly passable and safe within a day of a storm.

But wouldn’t it be great if we all worked as hard as this in preparing to meet the Lord? Jesus told us that He did not know the hour or day when He would return. He also told us that day would come like a thief in the night. Are you ready? And taking it one step further, maybe the end of the world and the Second Coming are still thousands of years away—but what about your own death? Are you ready to meet God? Because when we die it will be the end of our time. And will that day find us watching and waiting—even with joyful anticipation, or will it surprise us? Will our hearts leap at meeting the Lord, or will we cower, knowing we were not ready?

Does it make sense to prepare so thoroughly and urgently for an approaching snow storm, but not prepare at all (or very little) for the approaching judgment of our lives? Make no mistake, we will be asked to answer this question: did you love Me?

How do we prepare ourselves to meet the Lord? We love others as He has loved us. We put ourselves second and try to destroy the greed and selfishness that can creep into our lives. We fill our hearts and minds with things that are true and beautiful and real. We align our desires with His desires. We weep for what makes Him weep. Our hearts break when His does. When His will becomes our own. When His grace becomes our breath and His Body and Blood become our own. When we detach ourselves from this world, even the good of this world, in order to seek Him and only Him. Then we have begun to prepare to meet Him. For in the eternity of heaven, we will be enveloped in the Beatific Vision and immersed completely in the love of the Trinity. If we don’t start living that reality here on earth, why would we want that reality forever?

Dear Jesus, I want to be with You forever in heaven. I want to love You by loving others at all times and by preparing my mind, heart, body and soul to be immersed in Your love for eternity. Grant me the grace to tirelessly serve You and be prepared to meet You at anytime. Amen.

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