Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this Sunday we come closer to the end of our current liturgical year, and as a result, that is why the readings have that apocalyptic and premonition sense and tone. While the liturgical year itself is a cycle and will continue on to the next liturgical year, year after year, but at the same time, the end of the liturgical year is also symbolic of the coming of the end of time, as the Lord Himself had revealed.
The Lord revealed how the coming of the end of time will be swift and unpredictable, in the various occasions that He mentioned it throughout the Gospels, including what we have heard in today’s Gospel passage. No one knows the exact time when the Lord will come again, to enact the Last Judgment over all creation, over all of our souls, to determine our chosen fate, which we have chosen ourselves, out of free will. Whether we will join in God’s eternal glory in heaven, or whether we will be forever sundered from Him in the eternal damnation, all will be finalised at the Last Judgment.
In the Gospel passage today, the Lord mentioned that there would indeed be signs for the coming of the end times, as there would be increasing troubles and persecutions against those who are faithful to God. The account of the Book of Revelations according to St. John also confirmed this reality. And all agree that the Lord Jesus, the Son of Man, will come again at the end of time, and according to the Book of the prophet Daniel, His coming will also be heralded by St. Michael the Archangel, the Prince of the Heavenly Host.
The coming of that time will be joyful and bring probably indescribable happiness to all those who have kept their faith in God, for they have certainly suffered for many years and periods under the oppression and persecution by those who refused to believe in God. But for all those who have rejected God and refused to believe in Him and in all those who have spoken in His Name, there was only regret and eternal anguish, knowing that their fate had been decided by their own choice.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, what is important for each and every one of us to take note is the fact that we have been given the gift of free will by God, to choose whether we want to continue to disobey Him and listen to Satan’s sweet words of lie and distortion, which he had done with us ever since he corrupted Adam and Eve, our first parents, or we have the choice to repent our sins, and turn towards God with all of our hearts and minds.
And we have been given the wisdom to understand the ways of the Lord as well as the ways of the world. We have been given the ability to understand how we ought to act in the face of all that we have witnessed, heard and seen for ourselves. And yet, many of us still choose the wrong path to take, the one that leads into separation from God, and into the eternal damnation and suffering in hell.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, why is that so? That is because, we mankind are truly weak, vulnerable and at risk, from all the insidious and evil works of the devil and all of the forces in his disposal. He is full of things that he can use to tempt us and to make us fall into sin. And through disobedience and sin, we end up going further and further away from God, and eventually unless we make the effort to move away from this destination, we will end up where we deserve.
All of us have received the truth of God from the Church, from our priests and bishops, all those who have kept the truth of God alive throughout all these times. And yet, why is it that even many of us Christians are unable to keep up the same faith and the same commitment as those who have gone before us and led a life of holiness? That is because of the ever increasing and ever present pressures from the forces of the evil one.
We need to make a decision, right now, and think of what will be our lot, when the time comes for us to be judged based on what we have done, and what we have not done in our lives. We will be judged based on the good and wicked things we have done, and whatever good things we could have done, and yet, failed to do. And it is important that we know of the truth, that unless we do what is right, we will end up falling into eternal suffering.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we need to reexamine our lives, and realign ourselves to God, especially if we have fallen away and been stumbling in our path towards Him because of sin and the many temptations to sin. Let us all turn ourselves, and make the good efforts to make our lives to be in accordance to what the Lord has shown us and commanded us to do.
Let us not wait or tarry any longer, because just as we do not know of the time when the Lord will come again and therefore when the Last Judgment is, we also believe that the timing of death is something that we will never know for ourselves. Death is a certainty for all of us because of sin, and yet the timing of death ia an uncertainty to all of us. No one knows of the exact time when their earthly end will come, and when it comes, we will also go through a particular judgment for each one of us, determining our fate for eternity to come.
May the Lord therefore be our Guide and may He continue to strengthen us, and show us the way, that we will not be easily tempted to turn away from Him. Let us also make the conscious effort to resist the allures and the falsehoods of Satan, and to be righteous and just in all of our actions, to the best of our abilities, from now on. May God bless us always, and may He continue to be with us, now and forevermore. Amen.