Advent 1 - Year C
Life is uncertain in its details. [Note G*D, not the Devil, loves the details, all the fiddly bits.]
A basic choice presented with this piece of Gospel writing reflects a disaster inflicted upon Jerusalem and its Temple and how that and other persecutions made it seem as though there was nothing to currently rely upon. Instead of the sun propitiously stopping at midday, it was as if the sun had stopped arising at all.
The choice presented is how we will live at any given time with expectational dislocations both small and large. Will we faint? Will we be alert to stand for G*D's expansive and expanding love as did Jesus and those who eventually were recognized as official Saints.
If you were to project the sense of this choice into today's world you might sense the American destruction of Iraq to be the equivalent of Rome's destruction of Jerusalem. Yesterday I heard Sami Rasouli, Director of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams, speak eloquently of bringing together his Islamic tradition of "One" with the Judeo-Christian tradition of "Unconditional Love" within his own life. This led him avoid fainting and to be alert as to how he might stand. If you have an opportunity to hear him, I recommend you take it. Working in an interfaith setting can bring even larger understandings than working ecumenically within one tradition.
In the meantime you may want to consider a different way of expressing your commitment to life to your family and friends and enemies during the coming consumer holidays. If you go to the Muslim Peacemaker Teams site you will find ways of supporting Sami's stand in the midst of uncertainty - Water for Peace and Iraqi Art. It may even trigger in you a new insight about how you might better stand in a world of uncertainty. May you avoid dullness and be alert to your call to reveal the presence of G*D in your life, no matter how dire the circumstance.