Scripture: 1st Reading: Daniel7,15-27; Resp. Psalm: Daniel3,60-65; Gosp. Accl.: Lk21,36; Gospel: Lk21,34-36
The goal is not here. This world is not the kingdom of the saints of God. It is not the home of the true believer. No matter the splendour and array of its beauty, fame, wealth, power and the extent of its dominion, no kingdom of this world is the possession of the true believer. Even in the event that the one who sits on the earthly throne is a believer and rules with justice, fairness, equity and seeks the good of every human person, the kingdom of this world is still not the destination and final end of any true and wise believer.
This is because everything that the world offers is tenuous and temporary, transient and time bound. They appear beautiful, attract and present themselves as the highest good that we should seek and strive to own. But they do not last because they are never meant to last. They fade away. The interpretation that Daniel received about his dreams in today's first reading proves that beyond reasonable doubts.
The vision revealed the rise and fall of kingdoms, even of kingdoms that made it their business to persecute the saints and elect of God the Most High. These made war with the saints and elect of God, prevailed over them, but their victory was temporary. They were eventually put down and the Ancient of Days gave judgement in favour of His Saints and gave them the kingdom. The kingdom He gave is "an everlasting kingdom and all dominions shall serve and obey them."
The elect must however not rest on their oars until the victory is won. This is why our Lord today warned us to be very careful, to "take heed to ourselves lest our hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon us suddenly like a snare; for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth." As part of our readiness and sign of our preparation, our Lord told us to "watch at all times, praying that we may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man."
The day of the Son of man will come, whether we like it or not. In the meantime, believers are called to watch and pray at all times, meditate on the word of God and allow it to be the guide and inspiration of their conduct. That is a daily task we must do because we do not know the day or the hour.
Today is the last day of this liturgical year. Our liturgical year begins from the evening prayer of the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent to the Saturday of the 34th Week in ordinary time. We have journeyed together these whole year, reflecting, meditating and praying the word of God together as a family of faith. The Lord has been good to us to make His Living Word available through the seasons of Advent and Christmas last year, six weeks of Lent, seven weeks of Easter, Feasts and Solemnities, Sundays of the Year, and the thirty four weeks in the ordinary time of the year. Some of these homilies are now available in print and in bookshops so that the word could reach even more people and be preserved for posterity. Let us obtain our copies and join to spread the word of life.
With the evening prayer today, we begin the season of Advent. Tomorrow is the First Sunday of Advent. We thank God for His unending inspiration that has kept this apostolate of the word for the past four years. We thank Him for many of you who forward the daily homily to thousands and paste it on countless platforms. May God bless you abundantly. As we enter a new liturgical year this evening and tomorrow morning, may God continue to inspire us with His word, keep us faithful to it and lead us to eternal life through our adherence to it.
Let us pray: O God our loving Father, we thank you that every day of this liturgical year that comes to a close today, you have consistently fed us with your word. We thank you that it is new every morning. We have responded in our own ways to it. Forgive us for the times we have been disobedient to it. Give us your grace to be more attentive to your word in this coming liturgical year. Let your word be the guide for our paths and the light of our lives. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.