Scripture: 1st Reading: Daniel7,2-14; Resp. Psalm: Daniel3,53-59; Gosp. Accl.: Lk21,28; Gospel: Lk21,29-33
We may never want to hear it. Our overall attitude and disposition may loathe it. We may recoil at the thought and shivers may run down our spines. But the reality is this: there is an end. Everything that has a beginning will have an end. The end will come sometime, someday, some moment. The visions of Daniel in today's First Reading point our attentions in this direction.
The vision is not meant to frighten but to warn us if we are doing nothing about our end and encourage us if we are assiduously engaged in preparation. The vision describes the destruction that will be the lot of the created order at the end of time. It describes the awesome presence of the Ancient of Days who took His seat, whose "clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came forth from behind him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him."
The Ancient of Days took His seat to give judgment. The books were opened. The beast, the deceiver of men, the ancient enemy of man's salvation and the adversary of God, was slain, "its body destroyed and given over to be burnt by fire." The other negative spirits, who collaborate with the beast in the deception of humanity, were also slain and their dominion taken away.
Then came the Son of man. To the Son of man "was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed."
Our Lord reiterated the reality of the end in today's gospel passage. He mentioned already in the passage preceding today's gospel the signs that would precede the coming of the Son of man: great distress upon earth, the fall of Jerusalem, signs in the sun and moon and stars, the roaring of the sea and the waves, the shaking of the powers of heaven (Lk21,20-28).
Despite these fearsome signs, the true believer should never be afraid. In fact, our Lord concluded by saying "when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Lk21,28) Our Lord repeats these same promises in today's gospel passage: "so also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near."
Heaven and earth will pass away, but His words will not pass away. What we need to do is to continue doing the good we have always done, encounter Him more intensely, love Him more ardently, follow Him more nearly, adore Him more profoundly, worship Him more sincerely. All we need to is thus to continue doing exactly the things He called us to the first time He called our names and made us His possession. That is what He should meet us doing.
The words could never be clearer. The message could never be more illuminating, especially as we enter the last month of the year today. We finished the eleventh month yesterday by midnight. We enter the dawn of the last ember months this day. May the Lord enter it with us. As it is also the month of the commemoration of His birth, may He make new things happen to us this month, bring us victories, bless us with good health, strong faith, peace, security and prosper the works of our hands. Happy New Month.
Let us pray: O God our loving Father, your word today recalls our minds to the end so that we could use our time here to prepare well. Give us your grace to make the best use of our time here on earth. Teach us to value time and to recognize the time of your visitation. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.