As we approach the end of the liturgical year the church draws upon those portions of the gospel message that deals with the end times. People have had a fascination about THE END. More than once it has been expected and even exact dates named. Jesus himself did not spend much of his preaching ministry scaring his hearers with the horrors of the end times. He was more interested in inviting us to love his Father and teaching us how to live with one another. That is really what the gospel, the good news is about.
Jesus got into this topic because his apostles asked him a question about the timing of the destruction of the temple. He assured them that this would happen very soon and there would be signs as the time approached. But then he said you haven’t seen anything yet and went on to describe the grand cosmic short-circuiting of the final end: the sun and the moon darkening and the stars falling. Finally the Son of Man comes on the clouds and the just are gathered to him. There will be no signs to predict this hour. Jesus goes on to say (Mk 33-37) that this possibility can come at any time. His conclusion: “Stay awake!”
So, I will live this moment for the Lord.
Fr. Mike Hoolahan, C.P. is on the staff at Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.