1.Daniel 12:1-13
2.Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
Gospel: Mark 13:24-32


There is a story of a priest who was playing a tennis with a friend and during the break, their talk shifted to a more serious matter with his partner asking: " Father, suppose the end of the world suddenly came and were out playing , what would you do? Get down on your knees and pray?" The priest paused for a moment and said: " I'd go right on playing."
What he's trying to say is that we should not worry about the end of the world. What we should worry about is that whether or not we are holding on to our Christian faith and live it to the fullest despite of many adversities.
It is obvious that believers and non-believers alike are concerned with the "end of the word." Scientists speak of it as the end of the physical world. They point out that objects, bigger than a mountain, may stray from their orbits and strike the earth with a force more powerful than that generated by nuclear weapons. The impact will greatly disturb the earth's ecosystem and cause  the death of species including human beings. If the giant projectiles miss, the cosmos has other ways of crushing  or annihilating the planet. But Scientists say that none of these will take place earlier than a billion years from now. There is no reason, you might say, to start worrying this for a minute.
Nevertheless for us Christians, the " end of the world" refers not to the annihilation of the planet but to the second coming of Jesus Christ ( Parousia). Rather than a day to be feared of , it is a day filled with hope because it ushers in the final completion of history and the full reign of God.

A story is told about the young man suffering  in the fires of hell. Day  and night he carried aloud  to God pleading to be delivered from the torments of hell. God heard his cries. He asked what good work he had done while still on earth. An angel went through his bio-data in the huge heavenly computer and reported that the man shared some strings of onion to his poor neighbor.
" Alright," God said, " make a cord out the onion strings and lower it to him." So the angel did as commanded.
As the angel eagerly lowered the cord, the young man desperately grabbed it. Then the angel started lifting him up. When his companions saw what was happening, they rushed and held like leeches onto his feet. The load became so heavy that, midway between heaven and hell, the cord snapped plunging him back to hell!
Thus the young man could not save himself and his fellowmen because he had done  so little good works. How about us, have we enough good works to deliver us from the fires of hell?

When the Son of Man comes

he Lord comes to us in many ways, both to gift us challenge us. Welcoming him is what really makes us Christians, sharing the spirit of his first followers who said " Maranatha" - "Our Lord come!" We are invited to live our lives within an awareness of eternity, seeing this life as preparation for and building towards and endless life with God.
The faster our cars become, it seems, the more we have to spend time waiting for the lights to change to green. The queue and the traffic-jam are signs of our times. The more we are in a hurry the more we feel held up. We travel at speed through the air, but wait interminably at airports. Business life is punctuated with frustrating times waiting for appointments. How do we wait? Sometimes with great impatience, sometimes with anxiety. But our waiting can also be colored with joyful expectation. Expectation is often more pleasurable than realization. As Shakespeare said, " All things that are, are with more pleasure chased than enjoyed."(The Merchant of Venice act 2, scene 6), what does this statement from William Shakespeare quote mean to us, is that we chase everything in life more excitedly than we actually enjoy it when we get it.

How should a believer await the coming of the Lord? Carefully, as those employed and carrying great responsibility. We will have to give an account of all our doings. The books must be in order. Actively, with our lamps burning, not a sleep. We have to keep on working until the end. There is not time when we can say we have arrived, we have it all made. Joyfully, for if we are ready, then it is a joy to await the bridegroom and enter into the marriage feast. Hopefully, for we await him who in his one sacrifice lives to make intercession for our sins. In him we have confidence. He comes to reward us who have remained faithful and whose names are written in the book of life.

Lastly, our vision of the last things ( life-after),  should not sink us in pessimism, or despair at our sinfulness. But the question should be asked: How ready are we? Our faith tells us that some generation in history will experience the second coming of Christ. Then a person may have but a moment to wonder: " Am I ready? Am I prepared? Even if ours is not the generation to see the second coming, still each of us must face our personal day of death. For some it comes unexpectedly, out of the blue, even perhaps at a young age. There will be a time when each must ask the question: " Am I ready? Am I prepared? Mean while we are faced with a multiple choices to make each day which may seem insignificant; but they all add up pointing us in particular directions, sometimes good, sometimes less so. Are our everyday decisions helping to make us ready? Are they making us prepared?

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Chapisha Maoni