for Sunday, November 17, 2013
Clearly we are invited to look at the end of the world today and to reflect
on the reality that we shall all die one day. We will die. There is no
way around it. And the world will end. There is no way around it. When
these events will happen, we do not know. We do know that most likely our
own death will happen before the end of the world happens!
The Prophet Malachi speaks about the destruction of all that is not of God.
You and I will need purification in order to live completely with God.
The challenge for us is to accept purification and allow the Lord to burn
away in us all that does not help us to do His will. That sounds so easy
and yet we know in daily life that doing the will of God is something that
we must work at.
You and I must go through purification in this life because we are seeking
to serve the Lord. The more purification that we go through here, the less
is needed after death. In neither case should be fear such purification.
Purification is a result of loving God and allowing God to take away all
that impedes this love. Even in purgatory, according to Saint Catherine of
Genoa, the persons there know only God's love for them.
In this life, you and I need to know God's love for us. It is in
responding to that love that we will be purified.
The Second Letter to the Thessalonians urges us all to work. There is no
sense thinking that the world will end and that we will die and therefore
there is no need to work any longer. The end is here. From the point of
view of the Gospel, this is just foolishness. No one knows the day or the
hour. We do not know when we will die or when the world will end. We know
that we will die and we know that the world will end. But no one except
God knows the time.
The Gospel of Luke speaks about all of the signs of the end times. Those
signs are present in every age. Perhaps they are stronger in one age more
than another, but they are always present. The world is always ending! We
know that in the early Church some people got fascinated by this and spent
their lives thinking about the end. Even today some people do that. The
Gospel wants us to focus on the love of Christ and on sharing that love
with others. There is no reason to be spending our time thinking of the
end in a non-productive way. If we think of the end of the world and it
helps us give more love and care to others, that is very good. If we think
of the end of the world and it helps us live more faithful our present
life, that is also very good.
The Scriptures are given to us to lead to us know God, to love God and to
love one another. Sisters and brothers, let us give our lives over to the
Lord, in His service, sharing His love with one another.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Malachi 4.1-2
Second Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3.7-12
Gospel: Luke 21.5-19
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: