the End

Home > Living the Gospel > the End

After the Gulf War in 1991, black snow fell in parts of the Middle East caused by the smoke from all the burning oil in Kuwait. With the nuclear weapons that humanity possesses, the power to create a nuclear winter where the sun’s light would be blotted out due to so much smoke in the atmosphere is real. It is sobering to think that we now have the power to fulfill Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel when he said the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, stars will fall and the powers in the heavens will be shaken (Mark 13:24-25). Jesus made that statement not to frighten us but to remind us that there is nothing permanent in this world and to give us a chance to live as he asks. In one of our Eucharistic Acclamations we profess our faith in Jesus’ Second Coming: “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”

When will the End come? No one knows although many, down through the centuries, have tried to predict it and have always been mistaken. They should pay more attention to Jesus in the Gospel today when he says that no one knows when the End will be, neither the angels, nor Jesus himself, only the Father knows (Mark 13:32). Whenever the End will be we have a chance to prepare for it and that chance is now. Life is full of the unexpected and we never know when those unexpected events will happen. But if we allow Jesus more room in our lives, more control over our lives, when we realize the depth of his love for us and that all we need do is love him with trust and obedience, we will have peace without fear, no matter when the End comes. And, how will we be judged? Well, an anonymous author sums it up best:

“God won’t ask the square footage of your house. He will ask how many people you helped who didn’t have a house. God won’t ask how many fancy clothes you had in your closet. He will ask how many of those clothes you gave away to those who didn’t have any. God won’t ask how many material possessions you had. He will ask whether those material possessions dictated your life. God won’t ask what your highest salary was. He will ask if you trampled over any people to obtain that salary. God won’t ask how much overtime you worked. He will ask did you work overtime for your family. God won’t ask how many promotions you received. He will ask what you did to promote others. God won’t ask what your job title was. He will ask did you perform your job to the best of your ability. God won’t ask what your parents did to help you. He will ask what you did to help your parents. God won’t ask what you did to help yourself. He will ask what you did to help others. God won’t ask how many friends you had. He will ask how many people to whom you were a friend. God won’t ask what you did to protect your rights. He will ask what you did to protect the rights of others.”

Sylvia Bates