November 13, 2022 – 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111322.cfm)
How would the end of time look like? What would happen to us and to the world? When the pandemic struck us in 2020, I have friends who really asked if that was the beginning of the end of time. Even in social media sites and radio stations, there were people who entertain such thought because of the massive anxiety it caused us and the millions of the lives lost in this pandemic growing daily. Indeed, it was terrifying and horrifying seeing dead bodies of covid patients wrapped and buried in mass graves in many countries, even here. Hence, many of us would perhaps express fear of the end of time and imagine the destruction of the world, that there will be calamities and unimaginable tragedies, that there will be great suffering, pain and death.
Our readings this Sunday seemed to have the same horrifying images also. The first reading from the Book of Prophet Malachi prophesied about the destruction of the evildoers. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus described the signs that will come like the powerful earthquakes, famines, plagues, wars, and persecutions.
However, does the end of time really mean to be terrifying and horrifying for us? To answer this question let us see closely the prophesy of Prophet Malachi and the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke so that we too will be able to discover God’s invitation for us on this Sunday.
The prophecy from the Book of Prophet Malachi was addressed to all the Israelites who have returned from exile. However, at their return the prophet saw how the leaders of the Jewish community had become corrupt, abusive and indifferent to the common people.
Those words of destruction and death are meant for those who continually reject God and oppressed His people. Yet, the prophecy is also a hopeful promise to end the evil institution and the end of corruption and death. And for those who remained faithful and in friendship with God, the words of Malachi meant comfort and strength, for to them, the Lord will come to bring healing. And this will be the most wonderful and joyful time.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus warns us of those who acted like a “god” and not to follow them because they only lead us to death and not to life. Jesus also reminds us of the sufferings in life that may come but he comforts us not to be terrified and not to be afraid. Jesus promises us with his presence abiding in us. He will never leave us alone. Jesus will walk with us and accompany us.
Moreover, at the fulfillment of time, Jesus will be with us in person with his power and glory. And when he comes, Jesus will gather His people who believed in him and trusted him even in difficult times. His coming will be the end of the corrupt and the murderers. It will be a destruction of the powerful and arrogant, the ruthless and the violent.
Now, the beautiful message lies here. The message of comfort and strength, of joy and peace is for us who are waiting patiently for the end of time. This is what St. Paul tells us for us who believe in Jesus that the end of time is not something that we should be afraid. It is not a terrifying event but it will be the most joyful moment of our life. Meeting the Lord is a moment of fulfillment of all our hopes, prayers, desires and dreams.
However, it will surely be a destruction to what is evil. It will be the most terrifying moment for those who continually reject God and for those who pretend and act like a god.
With all of these, what can we do then, as we patiently wait for the second coming of Jesus? God in His generosity and love prepares us daily for that wonderful moment of our life. God prepares us by making Himself felt daily and in every moment and event in our life. Jesus reveals himself in us and through us. Indeed, Jesus’ words will not pass away, his promises will never fade. God is faithful and He is ever present with us. That is why, it is very important that we become discerning and welcoming of Jesus’ presence being revealed in us and around us.
How do we do it then? Our prayers as constant communication with God, both individually and as a community, will help us to make ourselves open to God. When we pray, we allow God to transform us and transform the way we look at things, the way we judge things and people and our way of relating with others. Thus, the effect of constant talking and listening to God forms us to be more aware of His presence in our life. Prayer is here not about murmuring our memorized prayers and novenas but being able to talk to God, listen to him by being able to reflect and contemplate God’s voice and actions in our life.
This calls us to recognize God in everyone and in everything. What would be its consequence now? When we grow tired from praying because our dreams and desires were not granted, remember that God never grows tired in making Himself known to us. God also reveals himself in moments of failures and defeats. When we become confused and doubtful of our faith, remember that God never surrenders on us. God makes himself known even in moments of our pain and suffering. When we feel that we are surrounded by evil, corruption and deaths, remember that God brings justice and makes himself bright even in the darkest part of our lives as Christians and members of our community.
As we are about to end the liturgical calendar and begin the Season of Advent in few weeks’ time, let us make this week more wonderful and exciting. Let us intensify our “Wi-Fi connection” with God, by making our prayer frequent and sincere. Hopefully, this will lead each of us to see and feel the face of God among ourselves and even among those people who are not familiar to us and events that may be surprising and strange for us. In this way, we hope that we too will grow in our faith and become more excited in the end of time where we will certainly meet the Lord, who is the fulfillment of all our dreams and hopes. Kabay pa.