Today’s gospel is about the end of the world – the return of Jesus as Judge. My students ask about the end of the world from time to time. Watching secular programs on the history channel like the ones about the Mayan calendar’s final date being in December of 2012, or the ones about the predictions of Nostradamus really gets the teens all shook up – scared! Even within Catholicism, we hear about the secrets of the Medjugorje visionaries, yet to be revealed, and numerous private revelations regarding the end times.
I always reassure my students of a few things:
#1 – Jesus loves us, and does not want to leave us to our own devices. When He returns, He will be coming to judge – but also to make everything good again – for those who love Him – that’s us! Let’s share the good news and try to get more people on board!
#2 God does not want us to live in fear. We must be people of hope and of joy if we are to help bring souls to Him. Staying close to Him through scripture and prayer will help us to keep that joy and peace NO MATTER WHAT is happening in our world. We must stay focused on Him.
#3 The gospel today reassures us that only the Father knows the day and the hour that all this will take place – Not the Mayans – Not those who are on the street corners shouting, “Repent for the end is near!” It is good to be ready, because the truth is that Jesus could return at any time – in the next minute or a thousand years from now. The apostles in Jesus’ time thought that the end was eminent. God is not bound by space and time, as we are here on earth. His time is not our time.
#4 We should avail ourselves of the sacraments as often as possible in order to grow in holiness and to remain in a state of grace as much as possible. God loves us. When He returns, it will be to rescue us from the evil and suffering of this world. Now that is something to be grateful for and to await with joy!