As the liturgical year draws to a close—there are only two weeks left—the gospel calls us to vigilance—that is, watchfulness—for the Lord to come again in judgment and vindication. In our profession of faith we proclaim our conviction that “he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” In the third eucharistic prayer we proclaim that “we look forward to his second coming.” Finally, after the Lord’s Prayer we state that “we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” This is the Church’s posture until the end of time. It is a joyful posture, if we are living a virtuous life.
I am sure many of you have heard, on television or radio, those “bible prophets” who believe they can determine from the bible just when this will be. Well, they can’t. Many dates have been set and many religious sects have prepared to meet the Lord on that day, but they have all been wrong. Why? Jesus states categorically in today’s gospel: “But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” It is clearly not the plan of God that we know and such speculation is completely futile.
What we do know for certain is that our lives in this world will end. It is for that final moment that we should be vigilant, for which we spend our lives in preparation. If we live well each day, there is no need to worry about tomorrow. Yes, we are in the “end times” because there is no more revelation besides what God has revealed in Jesus Christ; and there is no redemption other than that accomplished by Jesus Christ. Our time in this world is coming to an end. It is up to each of us to make our own time come to an end in a way that is pleasing to God. Reflect on God’s word; do penance; receive the sacraments frequently; reach out to others; pray daily. “Be vigilant at all times and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
This Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. As American Catholics we have a unique act of thanksgiving to offer: the Mass. Why not include the Mass as part of your family’s Thanksgiving Day tradition! Mass will be offered at St. Charles on Thanksgiving morning at 8:30.
Although this is a wonderful time of year, it has its hazards. Deer hunting can be dangerous for those who are not careful and the same is true of holiday driving. Please be careful and enjoy the coming week.
Pray the rosary again this week for the souls in purgatory. Pray for the safety of hunters and all traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday. Pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Pray for all who have experienced devastation and loss due to the wildfires in California, and for the firefighters who are working so hard to bring them under control; and, as always, pray for peace.
May God bless his people with peace.