In our church we are fast approaching the end of the liturgical year. This coming Sunday our readings will focus on the end times and next week we will celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, the final Sunday of the liturgical year.
The readings for this Sunday are: Daniel 12: 1-3, Hebrews 10: 11-14, 18, and Mark 13: 24-32. Daniel was written two centuries before Christ during a great persecution of the Israelites by the Syrian emperor Antiochus IV. Daniel assures his community that they will be liberated by their guardian angel Michael. And even the dead whose names are written in the book will be arise and live forever.
Mark’s community was also experiencing distress. Mark thought that Jesus was going to return within his lifetime. The end time would come and Jesus would gather the elect from the four winds. The end didn’t come when Mark thought it would and anyone nowadays who predicts the end of the world has not read Mark’s Gospel. Mark did say, “Of that hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Christians spend a lot of time worrying about the end of time. Predictions are made all the time, people actually believe the false prophets who distract us from what we should be doing: not worrying about the end times but living now to make God’s Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.
If we realize the fragility of life and the little time that each of us has here on earth, we would be far more centered on doing the works of God and far less time worrying about the end of the world. While we are here, our vocation is to bring a little more justice and peace into the world. Each day we are given a new beginning to spend ourselves for others, especially the weakest and poorest in our midst.
Our faith lets us know that in time we will simply pass into the fullness, the flowering of life and love that will remain forever–that fullness for which we hungered all our lives. So it won’t be the end, it will be a wonderful beginning.
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