Thursday November 13, 2003 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Wisdom 7:22b-8:1) Gospel (St. Luke 17:20-25)
In the first reading, we hear all about the Spirit of Wisdom, Who, of course, is God. That Spirit of Wisdom is granted to each one of us through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and each one of us can cooperate with that Spirit if we are willing to do so. The problem is that in our society, the way that it is right now, wisdom is pretty rarely found. Because there is so much sin and so much selfishness and the mind has been so badly darkened and the will so incredibly weakened, we do not see the wisdom of God being demonstrated very clearly in a lot of souls. But that does not mean He is not there; it is just that we do not allow Him to shine through us because of our own lack of purity and holiness that we need to have.
But the Lord, in the Gospel reading, helps us to see the absolute necessity of wisdom. For instance, He tells us that there will be some who will say, “He is here; He is there.” But He says to us, “Do not go off and run in pursuit because the day of the Lord is going to come like lightning flashing from one end of the sky to the other.” And He tells us that first He has to be rejected – which, of course, He was – but even if we put it into our own day we can say that He is being rejected by this generation and all of the signs point to the fact that something is very close. But we do not know when; that is entirely in God’s hands. It is not the end of the world that is close, but perhaps a purification, a chastisement, and then the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. But even that we do not know when it will be, and we do not need to be running all over the place looking because it will come to us; we do not need to go to it. What we need is to make sure that our hearts are prepared, that we are in the state of grace, that we are growing in holiness, that we are doing the work of Our Lord and Our Lady and seeking what it is that they want from each one of us. But beyond that, we do not need to be running around doing all kinds of things or trying to find where it is or when it is because it will be everywhere when it happens. So wherever we are, that is where it will be. We do not need to go anywhere to find it.
Just like at the end of the world when Our Lord comes a second time, nobody is going to have to go to find Him – He will find us. It is the same point. Wisdom simply tells us that we need to focus on what we are supposed to be doing, not running all over the place trying to find where something is going to be happening, but rather being in front of the Blessed Sacrament, praying, preparing our hearts so that we will be able to be obedient to the duties of our state in life, that we will be able to grow in holiness, and that we will not fear because there is nothing to fear as long as one is in union with God. That is what He desires and that is what wisdom does for us: It puts us into that union with God; it purifies us; it strengthens us; it enters into the very depths of our being and makes us one with God.
So this gift that God is offering to us, the gift of wisdom, is something which is absolutely essential to us, especially in our day when there is anything but wisdom being demonstrated in the world. We need this wisdom of God desperately, and we need souls who are willing to cooperate with this wisdom so that God will indeed find people who are united with Him, that He will know there are souls who are seeking His Will and trying to do His Will in their daily lives. And when the day comes, the day of the Lord – whether that is the day He calls us home, whether that is the day He sends His mother to clean things up, or whether that is the day of the Second Coming, it does not matter – He will find us prepared and doing exactly what we should be doing. As He pronounced in so many parables in the Gospel: “Blessed will those servants be whom the Master finds vigilant on His arrival.”
He is not asking us to run around and try to find Him; His arrival will come to us. He is simply asking that we would be obedient and do what we are supposed to do, which is to live out the duties of our state in life beginning with the vows of our baptism and building on that: to reject Satan and all his pomps and works, and to live our faith in Jesus Christ by living lives of prayer, by living lives of holiness, by living simple, quiet lives in union with Jesus Christ so that we will know His Will and carry it out in our lives.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.