Friday October 12, 2001 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2) Gospel (St. Luke 11:15-26)
In the first reading today from the Book of the Prophet Joel, we hear about this Day of the Lord. A day of the Lord, recall, is anytime that the Lord acts in the world in an extraordinary way. It can be a very positive thing, or it can be (what we would interpret to be) a very negative thing. That is, it could be (as it talks about here) a day of darkness and gloom, or it could be a day like the day Our Lord was born: It was a day of the Lord; and so, it was a day that the Lord intervened in the world. Through the prophet Joel, we hear that there is a day that is drawing near and it is a day of darkness, a day of gloom. We know that this is coming. We know that there is trouble on the horizon. We know that the direction things are going right now is leading in a way that is frightening to a lot of people. In fact, it says: "Let all who dwell in the land tremble, for the Day of the Lord is coming."
But for those with faith there is no reason to fear. What we need to do instead is simply trust in God. We need to do exactly what the prophet says, that is, to gather and pray. That is what is necessary. For those who have faith, it is not a matter of being like Jonah and sitting back watching and waiting for the city to be destroyed. But rather, it is for us to pray that people will be converted, that they will be able to see what is going on and turn to the Lord and that they will be saved. We are not looking forward to seeing how many people can be destroyed in all of this; but rather, we need to look at how many people can be saved through it. So, what is necessary for us is not that we scurry around and see if we can stockpile all kinds of stuff. It is not necessary for us to be afraid and to be worried. It is necessary for us to pray. And not just to pray for ourselves, but to intercede for others.
What we are talking about, this Day of the Lord, is a battle between good and evil. We see it beginning to rise and it is not a battle between the United States and the rest of the world, as though we are the "good guys" and they are the "bad guys". It is a battle between God and Satan. Ultimately, He has put His mother in charge. It is a battle between Our Lady and Satan; that is where the good and evil are going to be. Do not kid yourself for a second, thinking that the United States is the "good guy" in this battle. This is about the Masons; they are working for Satan and they are going against God.
We have a choice: Which side are we going to be on? It is not simply about being patriotic and cheering as bombs get dropped on other people. It is about praying and forming ourselves into the likeness of Jesus Christ; looking to the Mother of God and asking her to form us to be like her Son; and praying, praying intently for other people, for their conversions, praying for the world. As it says, we are to gather in the house of God and we are to weep and we are to wail and so on because of the impending doom.
This is not a happy time. Yet, at the same time, because God is purifying the world, it is a time in which we do need to rejoice on that level. When things are purified, there will be a pristine beauty on the other side. We have much to look forward to; but, in the meantime, we have much to suffer. And so, we have our part to do. The number of people who are going to suffer and have difficulty through this, to some degree, is going to be dependent on how many of us are willing to pray and how much we are willing to suffer on behalf of others. We have our part to do. Do not sit back, being rather smug about it, and look for how many people can be destroyed and how badly things are going to wiped out. That is not the Christian attitude.
We know, from yesterday's reading, that the Day of the Lord is going to come with fire. That is what is going to happen to the world, eventually. But that is a little way up the road yet. We have a lot to go before we get there; it has just begun. This war between Our Lady and Satan has been going since the Book of Genesis; it is nothing new. But it is finally beginning its final phase. We know that Our Lady is going to crush his vile head, so there is nothing to fear. It is already there; we have already read the last page; we know how the story ends. Do not be worried and afraid, but pray.
We need to be concerned for others and we need to make sure that we are very firmly on Our Lady's side. These are the times of which Scripture writes: "If the time had not been shortened, even the elect would fall astray." Do not sit back and think: "I have no problem. I have nothing to worry about. I'll just make it through like it's a walk in the park." Wrong. It is going to get very, very difficult. We need to make sure that our faith is solid and that we are praying, that we are praying for ourselves and that we are praying for others so that many will be saved through this. That is the Christian response.
We have our part to do and we are soldiers of Our Lady in this war. We need to choose what side we are going to be on and we need to be firmly on that side. It is not enough to say, "Well, I will just sit here in my house and I will just say I am on Our Lady's side." No. The battle is raging and we need to be in it. That is the choice we have to make. It is not a battle about countries fighting one another; it is a battle about Heaven and hell. It is a battle of good and evil. It is a battle about Satan and Our Lady. We already know who is going to win. We already know what is going to happen. But it may not look that way for a while. Do not get caught by simply looking at the externals. Stay with Our Lady; remain all the way to the end. Be faithful and pray that as many as possible will be saved.
* This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.