Yesterday’s Gospel reading is one of those I just never know how to take. Matthew 24:37 – 44 talks about the end times and how when the time comes people will suddenly be plucked from wherever they are and be taken up to Heaven. Will this actually happen?
Think about it. You are working with someone, let’s say you work in construction as a laborer. You work with two outer laborers building fences. One of your coworkers is in charge of digging the hole. The other puts the fence post into the hole. Your job is to fill the hole after the pole is set. The Day of Judgement comes and the person who places the pole in the hole is the one who is taken. What do you do?
Obviously, the first worker is going to keep digging the holes, after all, he is supposed to dig so many holes during his eight-hour shift in order to fulfill the government contract. But now there is no one to put the fence posts into the holes. You can’t do that because you aren’t approved through the union to do this, you are only allowed to fill the holes. Like the first guy, you are contracted to fill a certain amount of holes during your shift or you don’t get paid. What do you do? Keep filling the holes and let someone else figure out how they are going to get the poles in.
Okay, let’s get serious. I believe what Jesus is trying to tell us is to be ready, to stay awake, so when the time does come, we will be ready to go. Will our physical bodies be lifted up into the air? I don’t believe so, just our souls. But we are told that our souls and our bodies will be reunited for eternity at the final judgment. Now I have managed to confuse myself.
The point is that we don’t know when the end is coming. We don’t know when Jesus will come again. It could be in another thousand years or it could be today. We need to be ready for it by following Jesus’ teachings, loving our neighbors as ourselves, worshiping God before everything else, doing the right things. We know the end is coming, and like the homeowner who knows the thief is coming, locks his doors and keeps watch, we must do the same. We need to stay awake.
I also look at it this way, if you live your life as to be one of the chosen, you won’t have to worry about who will put the fence post in the hole.