This week the reading focus on the end times as we near the end of the Liturgical year. We begin in the prophet Daniel which is apocalyptic literature. Daniel tells us that Michael, the archangel, will come at a time of great distress, and the dead will rise and those whose names are written in the book “shall live forever while those other will be in everlasting horror and disgrace.” and the wise who lead others to justice will be like the stars in the sky. Looking at this bit of the future we could just about say that it’s anytime especially with the recent events in Paris and Beirut, it seems like the world has constantly been in distress over the past almost twenty years. However turning to the psalms we are given some hope when we sing that “You are our inheritance, O Lord.” Even though we are constantly living in trying times if we but remember that we have the Lord on our sides.
As we make our way to the Epistle we continue our reading from Hebrews today we hear that Jesus has taken his seat forever at the right hand of the Father. Since Jesus offered the perfect sacrifice all those that follow him can join in the eternal glory of heaven. Finally as we make our way to the Gospel we hear from Mark of how Jesus described the Last Judgement. The sun will darken, the moon will not give light, and the stars will fall from the sky. Then the Son of Man will come on the clouds in power and glory and he will send out his angels to the four corners and gather the elect. The story then changes and Jesus talks about fig trees saying that in the spring when the branches are tender and sprout leaves you know that summer is coming. Jesus tells the disciples to watch for the signs like this. This next part is where things usually go fishy when you look at the Bible as a credible source since Jesus says “This generation will not pass away until all the things have taken place, Heaven and Earth will pass away, but the words will remain forever” Then comes the Father is the only one who know the day or the hour when this will happen. It’s been a couple of generations since these words were first uttered and the Earth is still here. That is unless you consider each and everyday as a brand new creation. The readings today are all meant to remind us that there is no need to fear the end of the world, since Jesus offered himself for all of mankind as the perfect sacrifice so we are all able of salvation. Perhaps we could take some time over the next to weeks and reflect on how our relationship with Jesus and our Heavenly Father. Have we been as attentive to the needs of those around us looking specifically at the works of mercy. As we near the end of this year let us begin this upcoming year with a renewed spiritual life. Also this week it would be wonderful if we all could keep those in Paris, Beirut, Baghdad and Japan who have been affected by recent tragedies in our prayers.