Day 28: The Lord Has Come, The Lord Is Coming

BY JOHN O’KEEFE | March 17, 2015
Today’s Readings

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Photo Credit: Nick Kenrick//flickr

Christian hope has always held in tension the twin realities of the already and the not yet – the Lord has come, and the Lord is coming.

Both are real. Ezekiel’s vision is eschatological. On the one hand the waters out of the east are already flowing and producing abundance, but the promised new paradise rising from the east is not yet. Still, Ezekiel finds hope and solace in this vision of a new creation offered to him by the angel.

Waking up to the current environment crisis is a bit like getting “a clean heart,” with which we can really see the environmental challenges unfolding in the world all around us. We are like the sick man in the story of John’s gospel and have been healed of our previous listlessness. In my meditation today, I find myself invited, with Ezekiel, to avoid all temptation to despair and to abide in the hope that God will not abandon the project of creation.

Reflection Questions:

  • How do you manage the tension between the already and the not yet in your life of prayer?
  • What does it mean to live into the vision of the promised new creation?

John O’Keefe is a Professor of theology at Creighton University where he also moonlights as a documentary filmmaker. As a theologian, he writes and teaches about ancient Christianity and ecological theology. As a filmmaker, he is the producer of the Backpack Journalism Project at Creighton, a program that uses the tool of documentary filmmaking to educate undergraduate students about the challenges facing people in the developing world and marginalized societies. O’Keefe directed the award-winning short documentary Tokimane, which is set in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. O’Keefe and his wife Kathy live in Omaha and have four adult children.


1 reply
  1. Frank O'Brien
    Frank O'Brien says:

    Interesting that NCR states that Catholics are much more likely to be involved in the climate change issue than are other Christians. The only practical reason I can offer for this difference is Church leadership. I don’t see that evidenced in my local church, but there are certainly articles in virtually every Catholicc media on a national level.the fasting program however does come as a surprise.
    So church leadership is responsible for this enlightenment. The church needs to rejoice in this success , and continue to make a difference?by its messages.
    The promised new creation will not have people suffering through the church’s own merciless annulment process. After all, every one of these failed Catholic marriages has been preventable by the church. An easy fix for the church in both directions: don’t perform marriages unless absolutely certain of success, and if it failed admit the church’s mistake, and be merciful with a quick annulment. Eliminate unnecessary suffering of millions of people.


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