Today’s gospel features the ‘little apocalypse’ in which the Lord predicts earthquakes, signs in the heavens, persecutions of the faithful and the collapse of this worldly system to make way for his triumphant second coming in glory.
It’s a strange fact that we have both a longing and a fear in our hearts about the end of the world. We are drawn to theories about prophecies and end times and wars and the rumors of wars. We see natural disasters and fear that the whole material world will crumble, that the curtain will fall and the end will come. We hear of man made terrors and the horrors of violence and economic ruin, greed and despair and we anticipate the end.
Christ’s message is that the apocalypse is not yet here, and yet it is here now. Each day is just another day in the long progress of time, yet each day is also apocalypse now. Each day is a little ending and a little hint of the final end that will come.
The key to joy and peace is each day to hope for the best and plan for the worst. It is to live each day as if it is your last, and each day as if you will live forever.
For indeed, each day maybe your last. It may come in the sudden crash of cardiac arrest. It may come in the unexpected accident, the unplanned catastrophe, the seemingly random act of violence or horror that snatches a life that was full and suddenly is broken. At the same time we live in confidence and hope–knowing that the Divine Will is over all, that God’s providence is sovereign and within the sure knowledge that for those who love God all things work together for good.
If you can live with this tension that apocalypse is millennia away and apocalypse is now, then you will walk the tightrope of life with incredible grace and ease–always at peace in this world, but never at home in this world. You will know that you are just a pilgrim here, and that you are just passing through for your desination is none other than Christ himself–your Alpha and your Omega–your beginning and your end–your joy, your destiny, your home.
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