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The fall of the year prepares us for the great death of nature about to come. All of its lovely companions are faded and gone. As we move toward the conclusion of the Church year, our liturgies make a decisive shift. Our readings focus more on the end-times. The Church invites us for several Sundays to meditate on the great themes of the end. Death will come for all of us. There will be a final judgment.
Is this a message that shocks us? Is reminding us of the end also Gospel, good tidings? Yes, since we Christians know that whatever happens, no destruction is final. New roses will bloom on the same apparently dead bush. The seed dies in the soil in order to bear a new life. Prophet Daniel in his apocalyptic literature (the first reading) reminds us about the end of the world and the destruction of life. However the author offers a message of hope. God will help. “Some shall live forever, others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace. The message to us, when we are depressed: Have faith in God. “I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.” In the Gospel reading we will find: “The sun will be darkened….,” etc., and then they will see ‘The Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.
The Gospel reminds us of great hope in the future. Do not despair. Have hope. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Those who remain with God in her/his life on earth will have the great future.