You will not be expecting us to write anything to you, brothers, about ‘times and seasons’, since you know very well that the Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night. It is when people are saying, ‘How quiet and peaceful it is’ that the worst suddenly happens, as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman; and there will be no way for anybody to evade it.
But it is not as if you live in the dark, my brothers, for that Day to overtake you like a thief. No, you are all sons of light and sons of the day: we do not belong to the night or to darkness, so we should not go on sleeping, as everyone else does, but stay wide awake and sober.
There is no place where God is not, no moment where we do not have the opportunity of choosing the godly or not, and no moment when we are not under the judgement of God.
And there is no moment when God wishes to withhold his mercy from us, embrace us with his love and restore us to life and health through his tenderness and compassion.
And if sometimes awareness of the former (combined with knowledge of our sinfulness and incompleteness) would paralyse us with fear and give up hope, being reminded of the latter will give us the encouragement we need to live as children of the light, of the day, children of the loving Father.
There is no way for us avoid the truth about ourselves, but every reason for us to embrace the truth about the loving Father.
- For what do you ask God’s compassion today?
- Of what brokenness do you repent and ask for help?
- For what triumph of grace do you wish to give thanks to God?
Second reading for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6