Nov. 15, 2015: 33rd Sunday B
Click to hear Audio Homily
One evening, a woman was hurrying home from work because it was bingo night. As she approached the corner of a street, she spotted a man holding a placard that read: THE END OF THE WORLD IS NEAR. She went up to him and asked, “Are you sure the end of the world is near?” “Yes, ma'am,” he replied. “Are you sure?” the woman asked. “Quite sure, ma’am,” he replied. “How near?” the woman asked. “Very, very near,” the man responded. “Can you be more precise?” she asked. “It’s going to happen this very night,” the man replied. The woman paused for a moment and then asked, “Tell me, will it be before or after bingo?”
Down the ages there has been widespread speculation about the end of the world (this week’s bulletin article lists some of the prophecy of doom). In fact many people in the world may be worried or on the edge right now because of the terror attack in Paris on Friday night or the on-going unrest in the middle east. The end of the world is often portrayed as ‘doomsday’ where the future is filled with catastrophic disasters. There are Christians, even faithful Catholics, who subscribe this point of view. For us Christians, our belief in the Creed shapes how we view the future. The Creed professes that Jesus, who is now at the right hand of the Father, will come at some future moment, a moment known only to the Father. Christians believe that God’s purpose for the future is not filled with darkness, but with light, mercy, and hope. We believe that there will be a new beginning rather than in the world coming to an end. This new beginning will be the joyous reign of Christ, and therefore a time of joy for his followers. Our task is to keep that hope alive in the world, and to stand prepared.
Jesus admonished us, “You will hear of wars and reports of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for these things must happen, but it will not yet be the end. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be famines and earthquakes from place to place. All these are the beginning of the labor pains.” (Matt 24:6)
Jesus also encouraged us, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” The words of Jesus remain with us to this very day, comforting us, guiding us, and challenging us. We should not worry about the end of the world, like many in the world do. What we should worry about is whether or not we are holding on to our Christian faith and living it to the fullest despite many adversities. Let us ask Our Lord to help us make his words part of our lives so that his presence will illuminate our journey on our earthly road to our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom. Let us especially pray for the peace in our world and for those who have recently lost their lives through terror. Remember that we have our daily morning masses at St. Francis and our adoration chapel in Ascension Church where you may be fed by the Lord and pray for peace.
-Fr. Paul Yi