This time of year fills me with energy. So much is happening; activity seems to abound! The scriptures for this time of year are intense and filled with action. Last Sunday, we celebrated the feast of Christ the King, then on Thursday we gave thanks to God for His many gifts. Tomorrow we begin a season of hope, love and light. It will be Advent – our Savior is coming. All will be right with our world.
Ah, but for today, today we have Daniel.
Theologians and scholars debate much about the Book of Daniel, but its message for us seems pretty clear. Trials and tribulations are going to happen; things may get worse, worse than we can even dream – but in the end, God will reign. God will save his people. In Daniel we see again the tension that is so present in scripture. Our gospel reading also reflects that tension. We are told to beware, be vigilant, pray for strength. But know by these signs that the Kingdom of God is at hand.
Daily living also speaks to us of this tension. There is often sorrow and tribulation whether it be illness, death, loss of a job, or financial concerns. But as Christians, we know that God is with us. We have hope that tomorrow will be a time of love and laughter, a time of resurrection.
This week concludes the church’s liturgical year. Over the past months, the Scriptures have walked us through the public life and ministry of Jesus. During this last week, starting with the Feast of Christ the King, the Church’s liturgy has spoken to us what might be called the last word. And that last word is Jesus’ gospel message. No matter what our current circumstances, no matter what tribulations we may be suffering, we know that all will be well because the Lord reigns!
We are called to be Christians, to accept this reign of Christ –
by having faith – faith that embracing Jesus’ message will change our lives.
by having hope – hope that our Savior will come.
by having love – love by living out Jesus’ message to serve others.
Let us pray that we may greet the new liturgical year with hearts filled with faith, hope and love.
Mary Lou Butler ([email protected])is a former staff member and is now a member of the Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center Board, Sierra Madre, California.