CANON ANTHONY WRITES:
The readings today paint a very gloomy picture. They are readings that seem to coincide very much with this time of year. A time when things wither and die, the dark and gloomy days, the reports we hear of so many people, throughout the world, suffering greatly. It certainly seems that there can be a lot of darkness at this time of year.
Not only can this be a dark time so also it is a time of change. Not everyone finds endings or change easy to cope with. Yet we have to cope with what life presents, both endings and change. Life is in a constant change – a movement, just as the leaves die to make way for new leaves that come in spring, we too have to make adjustments in our lives as things change.
In the Gospel Jesus speaks of the crisis or destruction that will occur, but he is also speaking of the opportunities that will go along with them. For with every crisis there is opportunity. It’s what we make of the crisis, that is the end result.
The Lord asks us to believe that he is always present to us no matter what, even in the midst of the chaos that threatens to engulf us, and he invites us to trust; to trust that if we are open to his coming, his presence, it is he who will gather us and not the chaos. Our end time makes way for our new time, a time of conversion and change of heart.
The end time may not be something we want to think about, but neither it is something that can be avoided, whether it will be the natural end of our lives, or the Lord’s coming again at the end of time, whenever that may be. If we stop to think about the end of life we could simply create worry for ourselves, just as we might also worry about when that will be.
The real question is not when will that be, but rather: am I ready? Am I ready to meet the Lord? The time we have now, this day, this hour, this minute is the only time we can be sure of. So here and now is the time to continue to build, and to deepen, our relationship with the Lord. To grow in knowledge and love of him, to deepen our relationship with him. In other words to make friends with him, in that way we won’t fear coming to meet him, but we will look forward to that moment to meeting a friend.