Friday November 11, 2005 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Wisdom 13:1-9) Gospel (St. Luke 17:26-37)
In the Gospel reading today, we hear Our Lord talking about what is going to happen on the day the Son of Man is revealed. He tells us that there really is not a way that we are going to be able to know when it is going to happen. Life is going to be carrying on as normal. People will be eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting, building, and so on, and suddenly the Son of Man is going to be revealed.
Now there are a couple of things we need to learn about this. First of all, we need to make sure that what we are doing is being obedient to the duties of our state in life. We are going to be expected to be found busy about the things of the world. The first and primary thing of the works of the Lord are the duties of our state in life, the very things that we are supposed to be doing. Rather than trying to seek things out that we really do not need to be doing and ignoring the things that we are supposed to be doing, we need to get that turned around so that our priorities are right.
But also we need to look a little bit deeper to hear what the Lord is telling us and couple that with the first reading where we are told: All men by nature were foolish who were not able to recognize God. They were running around seeking to find things in all of the things of creation, but somehow, even in seeing the order and the beauty of creation, they were unable to reason to the reality of the Creator. It is a very interesting thing in our world today that we have people who are going to court, and have been now for about 40 years, to make sure that nothing is taught in school about God. Even though they present this idea of evolution, where they only simply want to look at creatures, in more than 150 years they have not been able to prove one iota of their theory. Nonetheless, they present it as science and they want to tell us that we need to present science, not faith.
Science means knowledge. What we hear in the first reading is that we are condemned as being foolish if we are not able to recognize from the things of nature Him Who created them. How can we not recognize their source if we are able to see the wonders of what He created? And so these are the people who are going to be held extremely accountable. They were able to look at what was created, they were able to see the glory and the grandeur of the things that were created, they were able to understand to a great degree the complexity of the things created, then when it comes to finding their origin, they want to come up with some theory that completely denies that there could be a Creator of all of these things.
We, on the other hand, need to look at things more simplistically. Simply look at the beauty and the order of creation and you realize in an instant that there must be a Creator. There must be Someone–not something, but Someone–with intelligence Who created these things. It is not just going to happen all by itself. If we want to think even for a moment about the likelihood of the evolution of the human person from an amoeba, which is what they would claim–even more than that, they claim somehow that those amoeba came from rocks that the rain fell on–if we even want to think about that for a second, it would take literally billions and billions of mutations to be able to get to us. And even with that, mutations normally make something weaker not stronger. By nature, something greater does not come from something lesser. Something greater can make something lesser, but something lesser cannot make something greater than itself. Just ponder the idea: Can two human parents make an angel? Can two animals make a human being? No. But this is what they want us to believe.
We need to understand the reality of the way things are made, that they have a Creator. If we can see the beauty of creation, this is just a vestige of Him Who created it. That is where we need to be looking: at the Creator. Then on the day when He is revealed, we are going to be looking in His direction anyway. Then we will see the full beauty. We are not going to be taken completely off-guard because it is just going to be the fulfillment of what we have already been seeking. But if we are seeking somehow something which is false, something which is foolish, because we want to deny the reality of the Creator, then on the day the Lord is revealed, instead of beauty and goodness being revealed in us, foolishness and ugliness is going to be revealed because we refused to see the beauty and we refused to recognize the Beautiful One Who is beautiful beyond all else, the One Who created all things that are.
So if we will simply focus on seeking God and seeking His Will and doing His Will then we have absolutely nothing to fear, to worry about, to be concerned about, or anything else, because we will be caught up, not in the beautiful things that He created, but in the beauty of the Creator Himself. Then there will be nothing more glorious for us than the day when the Creator is revealed, whether that is the day of the Second Coming, or whether that is the day when we are called forth from this world to stand before Him and ultimately to enter into Him for eternity. We will have found the fulfillment of our creation, not in some other creature, but in the One Who is uncreated, the One Who created all that is, and the One Who is beautiful and powerful beyond all else.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.