This weekend our scripture again has apocalyptic passages for our reflection. John W. Martens, in his reflection in America, gives the following understanding of apocalyptic literature.
Apocalyptic passages, as Christians understand them, are about God acting to bring about God’s kingdom through the defeat of evil. As Psalm 98 says, God “is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.” The coming judgment is a promise of hope, not destruction, a hope for humanity to turn to righteousness, to walk away from evil. The work of the church is to act in ordinary ways that create hope and not despair over evil.
…part of our vocation as Christians is modelling the good life for others by taking joy in our daily work, engaging in relationships with others and demonstrating our love of God. We should prepare for the end by doing all things in goodness now, by offering people a true sign of the end, when the goodness of God will be all in all. When will that be. God knows.
There is a Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation that I have been using more often during this Year of Mercy. The preface captures what mercy can do in our lives. I printed the preface in my column a few months ago, but I think it bears another look from us as we come to the end of this Year of Mercy.
For though the human race is divided by dissension and discord,
yet we know that by testing us you change our hearts
to prepare them for reconciliation.
Even more, by your Spirit you move human hearts
that enemies may speak to each other again,
adversaries join hands, and people seek to meet together.
By the working of your power it comes about, O Lord,
that hatred is overcome by love,
revenge gives way to forgiveness,
and discord is changed to mutual respect.
here is a power in mercy that allows us to do great things.
Next week Fr. Charles Rowe will be here to encourage us in supporting the second collection for “Tomorrow’s Priests.”