Salvation, The Greatest Gift
November is often viewed as the time when the holiday season begins.
At the end of the month, we gather with our loved ones to give thanks at the annual Thanksgiving meal. And then we are immediately swept up in preparations for the celebration of Christmas and the beginning of another year. Much of the final two months of the year are filled with planning and preparations.
The Church spends this time preparing, too. As you will see in the readings for the final Sundays of the liturgical year, during this time we are taught about the basic requirement for entering the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes—readiness. We may feel ready for the holidays when our tree is trimmed, gifts are purchased, and a feast has been prepared for our loved ones. But it is far more important that we are spiritually ready.
Salvation is a gift. There is nothing we can do to earn it, but it is also not a given. If we are not ready, the door to salvation may be locked. As the liturgical year closes, the readings are a reminder of how important it is to live faithfully and actively take responsibility for the talents we have been given.
The message from Jesus in the final Gospel of the year could not be clearer. At the final judgment, Jesus will examine our response to our brothers and sisters in need. We are called to serve those who are without—not just to merit our salvation, but also because we recognize Christ in them. As I reflect on this reading, I immediately think of you and the many friends of Mercy Home. By so generously sharing your time, talents, prayers, and treasures with the young people at our Home, you are changing the lives of those in need.
We are called to serve those who are without—not just to merit our salvation, but also because we recognize Christ in them.
“Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me,” said Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel. May this incredible verse remind you to serve both neighbor and stranger who are in need. The Lord does no less in shepherding his people and expects no less of us. He works through us. So, as you anticipate and prepare for the joyous holiday season ahead, please also remember to use this time of year to evaluate your preparedness for the glory of Christ’s second coming.
On behalf of our entire Mercy Home family, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.