For this Sunday’s readings click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser. http://usccb.org/bible/readings/111818.cfm
It seems that every few years someone predicts that the world will end on a specific date, or in a particular year. So far all of these predictions have been wrong, but that hasn’t stopped people from continuing to predict the end of the world.
In our Gospel this Sunday, Jesus talks about the end times. He said: “In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the starts will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory, and then he will send out his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.” This imagery is vivid and stark. It reminds us that the end times will come and there will be a summation of the world and a time of judgment.
It is important to remember, though, that at the end of this Gospel Jesus also says: "But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” These words remind us that while we do believe that the world will one day come to an end, we shouldn’t spend our time wondering and worrying about when it will occur. Rather, we should live our lives in such a way that we will be prepared whenever it comes.
Our first reading this weekend is taken from the Book of the Prophet Daniel. It too speaks of the end times. It also is hopeful, though. For the closing verse of today’s reading says: “But the wise shall shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, and those who lead the many to justice shall be like the stars forever.”
For our second reading this weekend, we continue to read from the Letter to the Hebrews. Today’s selection contrasts the Jewish priests of the Old Testament with Jesus Christ: “But this one offered one sacrifice for sins, and took his seat forever at the right hand of God:”
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
- Why do you think people continue to predict the end of the world?
- If you knew the world was going to end at a certain point in the future, what would you do differently?
- If you would do something differently if you knew the end of the world was coming, why aren’t you doing that now?