Grace to you!
The year is gradually wrapping up. Similarly, there are barely two weeks until the end of the Church’s liturgical year and the start of the New Year beginning in Advent (November 27). The timing of Catholic readings from Scripture depicts all these.
If you have read the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), you may have observed that the contents are arranged in such a way that Jesus’ teaching about the end time, or what is called “eschatological discourse” in theology, comes towards the end of his earthly ministry (see Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21).
Anything that has a beginning in time has an end in time. Someday, everything we see or cherish here on earth will pass away. Only God remains. Our personal end when we die makes it real for us. The universal end or the events of the second coming wraps the world in the plan of God.
Teachings about the end time are among the most difficult in Scripture and theology. For many, it is scary; for some it is provocative; and for others, it doesn’t matter. For me, it’s part of the entire pool of God’s message for us and I engage it with the same love for the entire message of Christ the Lord, not with fear, but with reverence and hope.
Our reflections, as we go through the remaining days of the year before Advent, may in some ways reflect the teachings on the last things, especially when the readings are tailored to that. I am not an expert in end time prophecies, so my reflections would be a personal appreciation of the message as they are part of the spiritual journey.
For today, we see the concerns of the disciples of Jesus who were worried that Jesus prophesied the destruction of the beautiful Jerusalem temple. They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign when this is about to take place?” (Luke 21:7).
For the Jews of the time of Jesus, two events are tied together – the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and the end of the world. Hence, when Jesus prophesied the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem (a prophesy that actually came to pass in AD 70), his listeners were even more worried that the end was immediate; it will happen in their lifetime.
We are now over two thousand years since, yet the end has not come.
Lesson from this: Concerning the end time, the exact prediction of time and date would be the most erroneous prediction anyone could make. Often, people quote many end time private predictions and ask if these aren’t enough signs that the end is at hand. My response is biblical: “No one knows the time or the hour” (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32).
So, go about your normal business. Sanctify every moment of your life. Leave tomorrow to God. God knows how to take care of it. Manage what you can; what you can’t, submit to divine providence. Worry less. Hope and trust more.
I pray for the grace of relentless trust in God. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.