Jesus said to his disciples:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars,
and on earth nations will be in dismay,
perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will die of fright
in anticipation of what is coming upon the world,
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of Man
coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
But when these signs begin to happen,
stand erect and raise your heads
because your redemption is at hand.
“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy
from carousing and drunkenness
and the anxieties of daily life,
and that day catch you by surprise like a trap.
For that day will assault everyone
who lives on the face of the earth.
Be vigilant at all times
and pray that you have the strength
to escape the tribulations that are imminent
and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Lk 21:25-28,34-36)
For the past few weeks, we have been focusing upon the end of time. We did that because we were approaching the end of the liturgical year.
Now, we look ahead to what awaits us.
We begin the new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent.
The theme for our Church new year is radically different from the theme of the secular new year. On New Year’s Eve, there are people partying up a storm, making resolutions that will probably be broken within the week, and looking ahead to a better year, more prosperity, et cetera.
Our new year should not be filled with false resolutions. We look ahead not to what our year can give to us but how we can improve ourselves so as to be more ready for the coming of the Lord.
If we hope to escape the trials and calamities of the “last days”, we must be a people of the Lord in the here and now.
We await the coming of the Lord, not in fear and trepidation, but, in expectant hope.
FAITH ACTION: Think of some of the things that you fear. In prayer, turn those fears over to the Lord and ask Him to bear them for you.