Tuesday November 25, 2003 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier†† Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading (Daniel 2:31-45)†† Gospel (St. Luke 21:5-11)
In the first reading from the Book of the Prophet Daniel, we hear about this statue that Nebuchadnezzar sees in a dream. Daniel interprets the dream for him telling him that there will be these four kingdoms that will rule over the whole earth, and, at the time that the fourth kingdom is ruling over the earth, there is another kingdom which God will establish that will rule forever. The four kingdoms are the kingdom of the Babylonians, of which Nebuchadnezzar was the head; then following that, the kingdom of the Persians and the Medes; and following that, the kingdom of the Greeks; and then the kingdom of the Romans. At the time of the Roman Empire, of course, that is when the kingdom of God was founded on the earth when Jesus Himself, the stone which came without being touched by a human hand, was brought to earth. He founded His kingdom, the Church, and that has spread through the world.
The wonderful thing is that we have, not only from Daniel, this prophecy that this kingdom will have no end, but also Our Lordís own promises that this kingdom will have no end. But we have to keep in mind that the fact it will have no end does not mean it is going to reign gloriously forever. That is, if we look at some of the problems that are present in the Church right now, it is pretty evident that it is not always going to be as glorious as one might think. The other fact of the matter is that there is another kingdom which is going to try to imitate the kingdom of God and is going to try to usurp it, and that is the kingdom of Satan. He is working that through his dupes, the Freemasons, who are the lowest form of human life on the earth. These unfortunate souls think that they are going to be able to set up their kingdom and have their one world government, their one world religion, and that they can play god.
Well, it isnít going to work but it is going to appear that it will work, just as it appeared that Satan had won 2,000 years ago when Jesus went to the Cross. He was in the height of his victory celebration at the moment Our Lord rose from the dead and rendered Satan completely useless and powerless. Now Satan has found another way that he thinks is going to work. But he is so foolish, he is so darkened in his arrogance, and being as intelligent as he is, he is so stupid that he cannot see the pattern is already there that it will not work: that he is going to play his little game, it is going to appear that the Church is destroyed, and then it will rise on the third day and destroy the vile creature. This is the plan of God, except it gets even better because it is Our Lady who is going to do this one; it is the woman who is going to crush the head of the serpent.
And so when Our Lord tells us in the Gospel that we are going to hear about all these various things, do not be terrified, do not be running around, just simply continue to pray and be faithful and allow God to do what it is that He needs to do. He told us that there are going to be awesome signs, mighty signs from the sky, and so on. Well, we have certainly seen a few of those recently but there will be many more. And so the time is close, but it is not yet here Ė but it is very close. We simply need to be prepared because it is not near the end of the world but it is the time of the purification, a purification for the Church and a purification, thereby, for everyone who is a member of the Church. It is a glorious time because it requires us to put our faith on the line. It requires each one of us to make a choice of which kingdom we are going to serve. What will happen is that there will be a purified and beautiful and perfect faith on the other side of it. So it is all worth it although, in the midst of it, it does not seem like it is. It seems like God is not very strong and Satan is. It seems like anything we pray for does not happen and things are not working the way we think they should, and we are tempted to give up. But it is precisely by our fidelity through the midst of the hardship that we are going to rise victorious with Our Lord and with Our Lady.
So just simply remain faithful. Satan is going to play his little game, but we already know what the end of the story is. Jesus founded one Church and He promised that the jaws of hell would not prevail against it. We have nothing to fear except our own weakness which may cause us to be unfaithful to the Lord. And so we need to make sure that we are praying Ė and praying fervently Ė not only for the Church and all the people in it, but also, first and foremost, for our own selves and our families that we will be faithful to Christ in the midst of whatever may come. It does not matter what happens, we simply need to remember that God is in charge and that in our weakness there is nothing we can do to take it into our own control. We need to leave it in Godís hands, knowing that this is all part of His divine plan and that He has put us in the world and in the Church at this time and therefore He is also giving us the grace to be able to deal with all of the things that will happen in our time. We have nothing to fear. The Lord said that: Do not be terrified; do not fear. Jesus Christ is in control of the entire situation. It is all laid out in Scripture. We know it has to happen so we do not need to be afraid. All we need to do is be faithful.
*† This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.