A Note From Fr. Jeremy
THE READINGS AND THE ESCHATON
Brothers and Sisters,
We are approaching the Holy Seasons of Advent and Christmas. Before those seasons begin, the Church always ends Ordinary Time by having the readings focus on the eschaton that is “the last things” or “the end times.” This is often misunderstood as something scary. Let me explain:
The eschaton or the last things refers to the Second Coming – when Christ comes again – and there shall be a new Heaven and a new Earth (Revelation 21:2). This tends to make people nervous or even scared because it can be seen as a death, and end of things as we know then, and that can indeed be alarming.
Get this, though: rather than being frightening, nerve racking, or alarming, Saint John the Apostle tells us that this is something toward-which we eagerly look forward: behold, He comes from amid the clouds and descending, every eye shall see Him – even those who pierced Him – and all the peoples of the Earth will lament, yes and amen (Revelation 1:7). This is Saint John excitedly shouting and celebrating: everyone check it out, Christ will return and we shall see Him again!
For us, we know that humanity has been waiting for very close to two thousand years for His return to Earth. That is something that can be frustrating for some and perhaps give doubt to others. In either case, we can see how this might give rise to abandoning our duties as Christians to be holy, faithful, and the best of examples for others to follow.
The readings for Sunday Mass in these last weeks of this year’s Ordinary Time season will focus us on remembering that Christ has come and, yes, Christ will come again. It is no accident, therefore, that the month of November is the time when the Church strongly encourages us to pray for the faithful departed. This goes hand in hand with remembering our own death and judgment will one day come.
Pray for the dead. Pray that you will live in expectation of Christ’s return. Pray that all humanity will come to see Christ as the Messiah, will come to receive His sacraments, and will by His grace one day join Him in Heaven.
God be near,