Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
(Ephesians 2:12-22; Luke 12:35-38)
Dr. Kent Brantley went to Liberia last year to serve the people in the terribly poor African country. In July he became sick with fever and weakness. His worsening condition was diagnosed as Ebola and he came back to the U.S. for treatment. Dr. Brantley may be considered a sign for Christ who tells his disciples to watch for him in the gospel today.
Listening to passages such as this one makes us ask ourselves, when will Jesus return? We wonder if he will return at all and whether the gospel is a myth that has been sustained through human grit, not divine grace. Twenty centuries of unfilled expectation and false predictions of imminent coming tempt us to think that the cynics may be right.
But our losing hope is more indicative of our not attending to Jesus’ command than following it and being disappointed. Those who watch for Jesus find him in varied ways. They meet him often in the poor whose simple faith defies our search for answers. They encounter Jesus in people like Dr. Brantley whose compassion and courage convict us of self-centeredness. And they recognize him in the sacraments celebrated among others with restless faith but hearts bending to do his will.