Incredibly, it’s just two weeks until Advent begins. That means next Sunday is the last Sunday of the year, and as we near the end of the year, the Church asks us to reflect on the end of the world.

On some level, people argue about the world ending. Will Jesus come in a very literal way and end everything, or not? Yet oddly, I don’t think it really matters which side you take. Whether by a miracle or a natural death billions of years from now, this material world will certainly end. You and I also will, miracle or not, someday end our time here. At most, we can extend it for a few years through healthy eating or exercise. And when things draw to a close, we will face Jesus.

This is by far the most important reflection as we near the end of the year. The fact that nothing lasts forever, not a flower, not us, not the mountains. We all have our time in the sun, but even the sun itself fades. Yet as sobering as that is, for those who are ready, we will outlast the flowers and the mountains and the sun itself. You have never seen anything more durable and long lasting than your fellow human beings. As cold sets in and the year draws to a close, we are not looking around us in fear. We are looking ahead in hope to what comes next. To the child in the manger. To the God who opens the door for us, and promises a place of safety. If we are just vigilant and avoid becoming drowsy.

Is it enough though, just to worry about ourselves? If people are the only thing that survive, then how we treat one another is enormously important. If earth is a ship that will always sink, there’s no room in the lifeboats for luggage. The Scriptures constantly remind us that wealth crumbles and beauty fades, and Jesus encourages us to “store up treasure” in heaven. Connecting others with God is the wisest investment we can make.

 

Peace ~ Fr. Dan

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