Scripture: Lectionary 428. I Cor.1:1-9. Psalm 145:2-3.4-5.6-7. Matthew

Eschatology is a way of looking at the goal of the Christian life and it
can be of different dimensions. For example, Paul, in his earliest of
epistles thinks the endtime is to come very soon. Then later he adapts to
more of a futuristic way of speaking about the end of the world and
judgment.  John likes to display both a present eschatology as well as a
future eschatology. Both are seen in the chapter on the Eucharist, chapter
six. In general, eschatology is speaking about the coming of the kingdom of
God whether it is now or in the future. It is part of the bigger picture of
salvation history as seen in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Paul is now addressing us through the first epistle to the Corinthians. It
is his most pastoral epistle where he confronts some of the problems of a
bustling, hustling, and enthusiastic community that is not far removed from
those around them who try all of the experiences that an important seaport
would offer to the merchants and those who buy their products. Even in his
opening address and thanksgiving he refers to our looking toward the
completion of the goal--union with God through Jesus Christ. His
eschatology is expressed as he says, "...the witness I bore to Christ has
been so confirmed among you that you lack no spiritual gift as you wait for
the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Matthew shows us Jesus and his words about the endtime: "Stay awake,
therefore! You cannot know the day your Lord is coming." He is advising us
to be ready for the coming of the kingdom.  Attentiveness to what the signs
of the times and culture are telling us, what prayer tells us, and how we
ourselves look at our participation in salvation history.  There is a
continuation of what we just heard from Paul in his concern for the
Corinthians.  We want to live with Christ now and to continue in our love
for him into the eternal life he promises.  Whether we live by realized
eschatology as Luke and John would have us do, or fix our eyes on the
future while being alert in the present to the coming of Christ we all
participate in the eschatology of the Gospels.  Our passage for today gives
us advice from Jesus in these words, "Blessed that servant whom his master
discovers at work on his return."  We may even think of the powerful image
given in the Book of Revelation rendered so well by Monsignor Knox: "See
where I stand at the door, knocking; if anyone listens to my voice and
opens the door, I will come in to visit him, and take my supper with him,
and he shall sup with me. Who wins the victory? I will let him share my
throne with me; I too have won the victory, and now I sit sharing my
Father's throne. Listen, you that have ears, to the message the Spirit has
for the churches."(Apocalypse 3:20-22). Amen.