The puzzling book of Revelation, which fills our minds and hearts with questions, fear, reassurances and yet more questions, governs the readings of the Liturgy in the weeks before Advent. What do they mean? What and when will “these last days” occur? Will I be saved? Will I know how to die? Will there be anyone who might know how to greet the inevitable? “Surely not I?” we may say. Or on whom can I depend? What will I hold on to: My diamonds? My grain bins? My children? Their good management skills? Or my beloved piano? “None of these,” we are told.
So then, why do I build newer, better, bigger storage bins? Why do we see orange-door storage areas being built all over town and country? Simultaneously, there are mammoth sales designed to make all of us bigger consumers or is it only to be able to restock store shelves for the next civic or religious or cultural event? How many more shopping days before Christmas or Valentine’s Day?
We could do worse than take to heart the vision of St. John in the 14th chapter of the book of Revelation where an angel is crying out in a loud voice: “Use your sickle and reap the harvest for the time to reap has come; the earth’s harvest is fully ripe.” Or Jesus’ words: “All that you see here—the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down” (Lk 21).
Dear reader, what do you think? Are you confused and fearful, as I am? Do you feel drawn to act now in assessing your consumer choices? Do those tendencies to consume more and more, build bigger closets or storage bins, level the playing ground between yourself and those less gifted? I do…so help us, God!
Renée Domeier, OSB