We only have one more Sunday before the end of our liturgical year. November thinks and prays for those family and friends who have passed from this life and may not yet be in heavenly glory. This week focuses us on the defeat of satan and all of his forces and the eternal reign of Jesus Christ, Lord of all the living. The term used to describe these events as found in the book of Daniel in the Old Testament, at the end of the synoptic gospels and the book of Revelation, is Apocalyptic or end-time writings. It is very difficult to interpret. And endless speculation about the sequence of events is a waste of time, energy, emotion and anxiety.
Disciples then and now
The early disciples of Jesus were hoping to reign with Jesus in his new kingdom in Israel. Christ’s death ended that speculation. Yet his resurrection rekindles some of those hopes. However, with his post-Easter teaching and ascension they were not clear about the future until Pentecost. And then things were a little clearer. They expected Jesus to return within their lifetime for the new world against its pagan culture. That did not happen. And here we are 2,000 years later still waiting. Some of us, seeing the world events, are earnestly hoping and praying that Jesus will return in glory as soon as possible.
What is our personal hope? Jesus told us in the great commandment: to love God with our whole mind, heart and strength and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. OK! How do we do that? How do we become the true disciples (students) Jesus wants us to be? How do we get closer to Jesus each day amidst the culture around us? How do we do that in our own personal responsibilities to family and earning a viable living?
We can pray 24/7. We need to spend a little time of our 24 daily hours in prayer, loving and thanking God for all he has given us and asking him what he is empowering us to do here on earth. Then we can prioritize our work and responsibilities and do the most important things first. We can’t change the world or most of those around us but we can try to be the love of Jesus help do what he wants of us.
If we can do those things, which are not so simple, we shall be more ready when Jesus comes to end our own time here on earth. Our own end of life on earth will happen before the end of the world. What do we have to show God when we meet him for our own personal judgment, a few minutes after our soul leaves our body at death?
I want to be in heavenly glory with all the angels and saints around the presence of God. I want to be completely happy. Psalm 16 speaks about that today. We set our Lord ever before us and try to follow his ways. Then our heart will be glad and our soul rejoice. God will not abandon us to the netherworld, hell. The Holy Spirit will show us the path to life, fullness of joys in God’s presence, the delights in his glory. Amen!
Daily Mass is our most important prayer if our work allows us that time. Christmas is every day all over the world. It is Christ-Mass. There are obviously many others forms of prayer. To beg and plead with God to help convert those doing so many evil things each day, we can claim the blessings Jesus told to St. Faustina in the 1930s in Poland by praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and if possible during the 3 pm hour daily, the hour he died for our sins on the cross. We can’t reason with the terrorists but Jesus can directly appear to them, showing them the evils of their ways. They will not get to heaven killing other children of God. Jesus is appearing to many of them around the world. We can beg him to do more of that. Amen! Please help us Jesus.
Let today and this week be new for us, living in the radiant light of our risen savior, Jesus Christ. Have a blessed and hope-filled week.
Keep shining with the love of Jesus.
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2015 Fr. Bob Hilz, OP)