You know as I drove back and forth to Buffalo last year I found the best way to pass the time was to listen to books on CD’s.
And as I drove along the New York State Thruway (its a very boring drive) my emotions would change with the book I was listening to.
Sometimes I was afraid, other times I was relieved, other times I was nervous trying to figure out how the story would end. As I listened to the books I lived in the moment.
Many times we live our lives in the very same way. We become obsessed with the moment we are living and lose site of the long term.
When things are going well at the moment we are happy, but when we face a challenge or a difficulty sometimes we let it consume us.
It’s so easy for us to forget that this moment is not all that life has to offer.
When we are lost in the present, or better yet consumed by the present, we forget that what really matters is how the book or our lif) ends.
Today’s readings try to bring this truth home to us.
They try and remind that sometimes it is important to take a long view of life..
In the first reading the Prophet Isaiah proclaims
“Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication; with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.”
Isaiah was writing to a very disheartened people who were living in exile.
He wanted his contemporaries and us to remember that no matter what we are living in the present in the end God is faithful and he will come to save us.
In fact in 70 years the Jews were indeed allowed and encouraged to return home and live in peace.
In the Gospel we find John in prison.
Some say the he had expected that Jesus would lead a violent political revolution and John wanted to know when the revolt was starting.
Some say that John never really lost faith but that he sent his disciples to Jesus so that they could get to know Him, believe Him and follow Him.
Whatever the case may be John never forgot the end of the Story. He remembered to look at the big picture and he knew that his time had ended and that Jesus’ time had begun.
While in prison John did not lose heart or compromise on the truth.
He did not make a deal with Herod for his release.
He remembered God’s promise and he trusted that even if he was suffering now that God would be faithful
When we stop and think.
when we look at our world and our lives through the eyes of faith we know that in the end good wins and evil loses.
Many times we’re not sure how it will happen but we know how the story ends.
When we look at our lives through the eyes of faith
We know that salvation is ours for the asking no matter what trial we are facing at the moment.
And so good people let us take to heart the words of James in the second reading.
Let us be patient in good times and let us be patient in difficult times.
The simple phrase “This too shall pass” can help us to remember the end of the story.
And let us be filled with a deep abiding peace which can only come from trusting God who will always be faithful no matter what mess we may find ourselves in.
Today is Guaudete Sunday or Joyful Sunday.
One the 3rd Sunday of Advent the Church calls us to be joyful in anticipation of our Lord’s coming.
Only when we patiently trust in God can our heart be filled with peace and Joy.
Pope Francis recently wrote,
The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.
Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew.
Let’s not get lost in the present moment
Let us always look to the future
Let us remember that God is faithful
Let us patiently wait on the Lord
And if we can do all of these things let us be filled with the peace and even Joy which faith can give us.