Reflecting on 2 Peter 3:8-14
I’m not comfortable with that second reading today, and maybe it’s because I’m taking it too literally. The section from the Second Letter of Peter warns of the “day of the Lord”, and the fate that the heavens and earth will experience at the Second Coming.
I don’t like the idea that, when Christ comes in his glory, the heavens will “dissolve in flames” and the elements will “melt in fire”. It was the heavens that opened up on the night of his birth so that the angels could fill the sky and sing their Glorias. And each of the “elements”−−water, earth, metal, wood and fire−−served Christ in his ministry to us.
John baptized Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River. Jesus wrote a mysterious message in the earth while forgiving the woman caught in adultery. The metal coin on which the Roman’s engraved Caesar’s image provided the perfect teaching moment for Jesus. The wood of the cross held the Savior of the world, and the fires of Pentecost still enflame the world today.
The beautiful but gasping earth is our home. Pollution obscures the skies, but they still hold the majestic stars. The waters are belching with our waste, but they still are home to billions of silent creatures. Why should God’s first creations—the heavens and the earth−burn up when Christ comes again? I like to think that they who served him when he lived on earth will be given the highest places of honor when he comes again.
The Franciscans, in the spirit of their founder, say that Christ won’t destroy the world but will HEAL the world. Ah. Come, Lord Jesus.
In what ways have the heavens and earth helped you draw closer to God?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).