Thursday, June 23, 2011
Genesis 16:1-12,15-16; Psalm 106 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; Matt 7:21-29
In the gospel for today we hear these words from Jesus,
"Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name? Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you, Depart form me, yo evil doers."
First of all, obviously or at least seems to me to be obvious that, "on that day" refers to the end of time and the beginning of eternity. This is judgment, this is the last judgement, when we shall meet the Lord face to face.
Think about that moment for a moment. What would we say in that moment?
In dying every man arrives at the moment of truth. There is no concealment, no hiding.
What is shocking about the the people referred to in the gospel is what they say. In the moment of truth, looking into the face of Christ who redeemed them, whose blood was spilled for them, they sing their own praises.
"Lord, Lord, did we not...."
Self-praise before the Lord who deserves our praise.
What audacity! What perversion! No wonder Jesus' response is what it is, "I never knew you. Depart from me yo evil doers."
Think again about the response of Jesus, "I never knew you."
Jesus did not know them because they did not know him. They knew about him but they did not get to know him. They were too busy stroking their own egos.
Be on the look out for self-praise. So what is our response then.
Perhaps the psalmist has it right, "give thanks to the Lord, for he is good."
Self-praise becomes praise of him. This is our proper response when standing before the Lord on our knees in thanksgiving.
Thus, thanksgiving is preparation for that day when it comes.
This is how we prepare for the moment of truth. Giving thanks and praise prepares us for the moment that awaits us.
On earth as it is in heaven....