Memorial of St. Monica
(II Philippians 3:6-10;16-18)
The time of the “coming of the Lord” has preoccupied Christians from early on. Jesus said that he would come again and that his followers should be prepared for a sudden arrival. But, of course, the event has not yet taken place.
The first reading today indicates how a few Philippians misbehave under the expectation of Jesus’ imminent arrival. They consider the coming so close that they refuse to work! Rather they just use the supplies they have at hand. If Jesus does not appear before their provisions run out, they ask neighbors to share with them. After all, they speculate, the neighbors do not need much by way of excess since time is still short.
Of course, this kind of behavior is outrageous. No one can say when Jesus will come, but when he does, Christians should be found at work doing good for one another. In this way Christ will recognize them as his own.