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These are difficult readings to preach on, and as we continue to get closer towards this end of the ordinary time and we celebrate Christ the King next Sunday, the readings become more and more about the end of times. I have been teaching the rules for discernment, Saint Ignatius’ rules for discernment over the last couple weeks, and we have two more weeks of it so if you want to catch up and binge watch they are on our website. So, you can watch that and catch up.  

One of the rules I wanted to talk about for today’s homily, because it fits in so well, this is the eighth rule of his rules for discernment out of fourteen, and he talks about the need to realize and to know that consolation will come sooner than we think. The eighth rule is “let him who is in desolation labor to be in patience, which is contrary to the vexations which come to him.” So, when we are struggling in life, we tend to be impatient.  And he is saying, let him think that he will soon be consoled, so when we find ourselves struggling, just to think, I will soon be consoled. It is going to happen much quicker than I think.  

We hear in the first book from the prophet Malachi, “The day is coming like a blazing oven, and the proud and the evil doers will stumble, and that day is coming, and He will set them on fire, leaving them neither root nor branches,” says the Lord.  Pretty grim, isn’t it? But He’s saying there is going to be justice. So, when we are experiencing injustice in our lives or in our world, we will experience justice. He’s going to come, and it’s going to happen sooner than we think, and so He says, “But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays.” He’s saying tomorrow morning, the sun of justice will arise, and He is going to heal us. He is going to heal ourselves, our families, our nation, and our world.  

In the Broadway show Annie, which I am sure you are all familiar with, tomorrow is one of the themes throughout the play. There’s always this thought of tomorrow, and the first time it happens, it begins with Annie and the dog she finds on the street, and she is trying to convince the dog that things will be better tomorrow. And she meets Daddy Warbucks, of course, the millionaire who promises to take care of her, and there is going to be this big Christmas party which is appropriate for today, and the Christmas party is tomorrow, and he promises her that tomorrow morning when you wake up, you will experience something wonderful.  And Annie says, “Well, I figure that if you can just think about the good things that might be coming tomorrow instead of the bad things happening today, you can sort of get started on making those good things come,” Annie said, and she went about to explain her simple optimism. If we begin to think about the good things that are going to come tomorrow and not think about the bad things that are happening today, that thought alone may help bring the good things of tomorrow into play.  

So, going back to the rule, let him who is in desolation think that consolation will soon come, and it’s going to happen sooner than we think. Whatever is bad in our lives or difficult in our lives, that is going to come to an end sooner than we think.  Satan likes to make us think it’s going to go on forever; you’re never going to get out of this situation. The truth is, it’s going to happen sooner than we think. 

We will experience Jesus’ sun rising upon us and his healing rays. Now St. Luke talks about these horrible things, these wars, and these insurrections, and he says, do not be terrified; these things must happen first. So, we will experience war and insurrection, and he says it will not immediately be the end. Nation will rise against nation and Kingdom will rise against Kingdom; there will be powerful earthquakes, famines, plagues from place to place and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.  So, we experience all of this right?  There is a war going on in Ukraine and Russia that could impact our entire world.  We witness hurricanes in Florida, numerous ones. We experience all of these things that he’s talking about, and he says these must happen first. Why? Well, he says it will lead to your giving testimony. So, when these catastrophes happen, our faith is going to come out; it will lead to our giving testimony.  

Now here’s the painful part. He says, if that wasn’t painful enough, remember you are not to prepare your defense beforehand for I myself shall give you wisdom and speaking, that all your adversaries will be powerless. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. So, if you think you have problems in your family, they are probably not this bad. But he says you will be hated by all because of my name.  So, we will experience being hated by all because of the name of Jesus that we believe in. But then he says and promises that no hair on your head will be destroyed.  

Our Deacon makes that pretty easy, right?  But by your perseverance, you will save your lives. So, St Ignatius’s rule says perseverance labor to be in patience and let him think you will soon be consoled. 

I need you to think about the difficulties that you are facing in your life right now, you may be facing in your marriage, in your family, or at work, whatever that may be, it’s not going to last as long as you think it is. Tomorrow, God can arise with his justice and his healing rays. So don’t let yourself be discouraged but be consoled because very soon God is going to free you from that. Labor to be in patience. If you think about the division in our country, division in our church even, division in our families, maybe in your own families. Maybe you have experienced abandonment, maybe because of your faith you feel left out or rejected, maybe this happens with your friends, your friends have abandoned you or left you out. By your perseverance, you will save your lives, so we have to persevere. Jesus says all these things must happen. We must experience resurrection, we must experience going through difficulties in our lives because it will lead to our giving testimony.

So, if I were to ask you right now, would you be willing to go through war and catastrophes if it led to your giving testimony?  If we look at it in that way, I think most of us would probably say, yes, Lord, if that’s what it takes, I’d be willing to do that.  

Remember. Tomorrow, the sun of justice will arise with His healing rays. All this will come to an end sooner than we think. So, to end with a quote from near the end of Annie, she says, “Outside the snow stopped, the bright sun had come in, shining down on 5th avenue, glistening on the new-fallen snow. The sunlight gleamed in the windows of the Warbucks living room, and Annie ran with Sandy to look out at the glittering snow-covered Fairyland scene and said, “Look, Sandy,” Annie said, hugging the dog close to her, “Tomorrow is here!” 

So, tomorrow will come much sooner than we think. I thought it would be neat to sing Annie.

(The congregation sings Tomorrow, led by Sig, the organist)

The sun will come out tomorrow 

Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow 

There’ll be sun. 

Just thinkin’ about tomorrow 

Clears away the cobwebs, and the sorrow 

‘Til there’s none 

When I’m stuck with a day 

That’s gray and lonely 

I just stick out my chin 

And grin and say, oh 

The sun will come out tomorrow 

So ya gotta hang on ’til tomorrow 

Come what may. 

Tomorrow, tomorrow 

I love ya

Tomorrow 

You’re always a day away 

The sun will come out tomorrow 

So ya gotta hang on ’til tomorrow  

Come what may 

Tomorrow, tomorrow 

I love you Tomorrow 

You’re always a day away 

Tomorrow, tomorrow 

I love you Tomorrow 

You’re always a day away”   

“So, tomorrow will come sooner than you think, and just like Annie, tomorrow is here.” 

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