Do you remember the movie 2012? The premise was that the world was going to come to an end in 2012. As Hollywood hoped, a significant number of people believed that there might be some truth to this. How many of us stopped for a moment and questioned or worried? Did anything happen so far? Today, if you look at our world, what do you think? We hear about all kinds of violence, natural calamities, and so on.
The readings assure us that our God will be with us all the days of our lives and that we will have the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst guiding us. Next Sunday we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, and the following Sunday marks the beginning of the Advent season with a new Liturgical Cycle. The gospel is from Jesus’s “Eschatological Sermon,” the sermon on the “Last Things.” Sometime we perceive these things in a negative way.
The readings speak about the end of time but with a particular emphasis: those who trust in the Lord, and who live His life to the best of their ability, have nothing to fear. Prophet Daniel says that the archangel Michael is the guardian of God’s people. Prophet calls him God’s Prince. So, we just heard that when the final days come, Michael will gather God’s people together, including those who have died. And, the reading says, the wise will shine brightly.
In the Gospel reading, Jesus says that on the last day, the angels will gather the elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky. By the way, Jesus also says that no one knows when the last day will come. The sum of the reading is to be prepared: build our personal relationship with God, sharing with others the Good News of Jesus.
Our God is love. When we see all kinds of discouragement around us, what we have to do? We have to do just focus on Jesus, build up our relationship with him. How can develop the relationship? First of all by prayer. It is not just prayer, going through motion, but enter into real intimacy. It won’t happen one day, we have to perceiver in prayer. Then we have to share the good news with others: by word and deed.
In the second reading from the Hebrew, Jesus offered himself for our sin. Today when we hear the word of God, don’t be afraid, but fill with hop. Our God is love, and he did everything because his love for us. He is going to do great things in and through us.
Happy Thanksgiving: Mother Teresa told this story in an address to the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994. “One evening several of our Sisters went out, and we picked up four people from the street. One of them was in a most terrible condition. So I told the other Sisters, ‘You take care of the other three: I will take care of this one who looks the worst.’ So I did for the woman everything that my love could do. I cleaned her and put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hands and said two words in her language, Bengali: ‘Thank you.’ Then she died. I could not help but examine my conscience. I asked myself, ‘What would I say if I were in her place?’ My answer was simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself. I would have said, ‘I am hungry, I am dying, I am in pain.’ But the woman gave me much more; she gave me grateful love, dying with a grateful smile on her face. It means that even those with nothing can give us the gift of thanks.” Happy Thanksgiving everyone!