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Jacob Boddicker S.J.Nov 17, 2023 12:00:00 AM1 min read

17 November 2023

Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious

When Jesus comes again, it will come very suddenly, right in the middle of our day-to-day doings. Those who are living inattentive to Him, absorbed in the things of this world, will not be prepared; some will go with the Lord, and some will not. It might strike us as unfair, but Jesus has told us all we need to know to live in anticipation of His return, or even our deaths. We are the same way in our worldly affairs: how often have you been late for something when you came to pick up a friend or loved one, and they were not ready? When Jesus comes again to take His friends home, to lead His flock to its everlasting pasture, He will not wait for us to be ready, nor will He seek to convince those who do not want to go to change their minds: it will be now or never.

At the end of our Gospel one of the disciples asks where the “taken” will be taken to, and Jesus answers mysteriously “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.” It is a strange image, but consider what He is saying: He is coming, truly, in flesh-and-blood as He did at His birth. It will not be a purely spiritual event, an apparition, and wherever Jesus is—glorious and quite real in His risen Body—His faithful will gather around Him, just as vultures gather around a body. Those who are ready, those who love Jesus will flock to Him—not taken in the sense that they are grabbed, but taken as a young man is “taken” with a young lady. The love they have for Him will draw them on, whereas those who are not prepared, or those who do not love Him, will flee.

Imagine if you were sitting, as you are in this moment, and suddenly, in some way, you realized Jesus had returned. Would you be taken—would you run to Him with joy—or would you be left behind: would you flee?