Sunday, November 14th 2021 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
The Liturgical Year is quickly coming to a close. Next weekend is the celebration of the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (November 21st) and the final Sunday before the beginning of Advent. Today’s readings are in stark contrast to the joy of the holiday season that is fast approaching, warning us instead of dark times ahead and our inevitable judgment day.
The first reading from the prophet Daniel describes a time “unsurpassed in distress since nations began” and warns that “many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some shall live forever, and others shall be an everlasting horror and disgrace.” The second reading, from Hebrews, speaks of Christ who “waits until his enemies are made his footstool.”
These portions of Sacred Scripture might elicit within us a little bit of anxiety and stress thinking about troubled times ahead. However, when we as individuals, as a family and as a parish give to God the first and very best portion of our time, talents and abilities, and treasure or material resources, the warnings we read in the Scriptures this weekend should be no cause for alarm. In fact, we can view these words as encouragement; “Keep calm for we as disciples of Jesus have nothing to worry about,” no matter what good or bad may come our way.
One of the blessings of being a Catholic Christian and the discipleship way of life is that in challenging times, whether in our homes or in the marketplace or even in our beloved Church itself, we can take great comfort in knowing we have a concrete plan to keep our priorities in proper order. And, when we put God first in all aspects of our lives, we will experience the peace that He gives that surpasses all understanding.
We do not know the day or the hour of our Lord’s return and in reality, no one knows. All that we are invited to do is be prepared.