The End Times!!!!! In this pre-Advent time, having just celebrated the end of the church year and getting ready to welcome a new year, the readings today give us a rather dismal picture of the future! Both Daniel and Jesus give us warning of passing kingdoms and turmoil and destruction all around us in the future! What can this mean for us 21st century believers?! How do we balance the good and the bad, how do we stay positive in a world which seems headed for destruction at times? Where can we find the hope and the promise we so long for?
Lots of questions! As believers, we are reminded of God’s great unconditional love for us. Yes, it seems like the world around us is beset with crisis, violence and chaos. The natural disasters in these past weeks and months alone would try one’s faith and patience. It’s scary to pick up the daily news because it seems there is no good news for us to read today. I always bypass the front page and go straight to the comic page. It’s much better to begin the day with laughter than tears and worry!
The gospel response from Rev 2:10C reminds us:
“Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
We are called to be faithful believers, trust in a God who is in charge and never lets us down. We all know and expect to have bad times. The outpouring of love and generosity displayed in helping all the victims of the recent disasters whether it be natural, community or personal is a sign that God is alive and well and working through us. I think it is a normal reaction to fear the end times, but equally important to remember that Jesus is our hope and trust that eternal life holds so much more promise than we could ever imagine.
Alleluia! Happy Advent! Embrace the Joy of Emmanuel!
Theresa Secord is a Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.