We live in good times for a life in Christ Jesus. Although many call our current age a post-Christian one and a dramatic cultural revolution upends Christian values, God chose us for these times. The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:16: “This may be a wicked age, but your lives should redeem it.” An awesome charge for Christians. These times train us to shift our focus from the evil, conflict, and division to the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Faith does not ignore facts, but it does not provide them a place of influence. We cannot bury our heads in the sand, but, we do not then need to fear the evil we see. We do not react to evil with an anxious flitting about, like a wild bird trapped in our home. When the people of God witnessed destruction and division in the past, they turned to the Lord and witnessed what He could do. His works outmatch evil every time! When Mordecai sent word to Queen Esther that the entire populace of the Jews were slated for destruction, and that she carried the keys of their fate with her petition to the king, he further said: “Who knows? Perhaps you have come to the throne for just such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). Baptized into Christ Jesus, we are priest, prophet and royalty. The baptism we received positions us in the world as gates through which God’s power can flow and transform hearts, families and society for the Kingdom. These are not “pie in the sky” words. This is the inheritance of the baptized and believing.
Jesus Christ taught his followers to pray to the Father saying, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Take a moment to sit with these familiar words. We pray these words at Mass. We pray the Our Father six times with every Rosary upon which we meditate. “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is heaven.” Jesus did not reduce our prayer to us squeaking past the pearly gates to enter heaven one day, hopefully. Rather, Jesus taught us all to pray that heaven would invade earth the way the Father invaded earth through His Son, Jesus Christ. In Paul’s Letter to the Romans he picks up this sizzling fire of trust in our mission as Christians stating: Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give” (Romans 8:32). The Father gave us Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the treasure of the Father. If the Father dared to give His very heart’s treasure for us, will He not also provide for us in these times? Heaven aches to invade earth with a new outpouring of the Spirit. The Spirit is the Love of the Father and Son who reveals hearts and heals them, heals bodies, frees people from pain, unforgiveness, addictions, and strife. This Spirit of the Father and Son is the heaven for which we pray with every Our Father said.
These “wicked times” situate us in a place of crisis. In ancient Greece, the word “crisis” meant a fork in the road where someone turned either left or right. A crisis time means a “decision time.” Seen aright, these times will place our hearts and minds in a crisis moment. We will either renew our baptism and the Lordship of Jesus Christ over our lives, or we will give way to listlessness, give way to a tired spirit, or give way to a culture of boredom that feeds us endless pursuits that never nourish or satisfy us. Jesus will be either Lord of our life, and we will join him in battle to spread the kingdom of God, or we will water down the Gospel call and dismiss the promise of the Father. Saints are made in the crucible of fiery times. These times can excite us. When God’s people cry out to Him, He answers. Join me in crying out to the Father for more of His Spirit. Join me in pleading for the Lordship of Jesus to affect deep transformation in our families, our personal lives, the workplace, and the broader culture. When we pray the Our Father, lean into that gift of heaven. Pray the Our Father with new or renewed fervor. Let not our hearts be troubled. Time and again, Jesus told his disciples: Do not be afraid! “With God on our side who can be against us” (Romans 8:31)? These times contain wicked works, but, perhaps we have been elected for these times, as the royalty of the Father’s kingdom, in order to redeem them.