33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C
By: Rev. Fr. AMEH Sylvanus
Readings: Malachi 4:1-2; Psalm 98; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21:5-19
Theme: Preparing for the End
Both the civil and liturgical years are gradually drawing to a close. The liturgical year actually ends next week and as we move towards the end, the Church reminds us of our ultimate end also. In today’s readings, emphasis is placed on the end of time and how we ought to behave while waiting for our individual ends.
Today’s first reading thus tells us that at the end of time, God shall destroy all evil doers but console the righteous. In the second reading, we are admonished and encouraged to go on doing our daily tasks with diligence, because the time of the end is unknown, and it is indeed, in living our lives well and doing our tasks diligently that we adequately prepare ourselves for when our end shall come. In the gospel reading, though speaking in reference to the Temple and to Jerusalem, Jesus teaches us that even those things people place great value on, things for which many lose their souls will all come to an end, just as the Temple on which the Jews placed great value was destroyed.
All these remind us of Ecclesiastes 3:1 which tells us that “For everything under the sun, there is a time and a season.” The implication of all these is that nothing lasts forever, therefore, we must choose our priorities wisely as we live our lives daily. We must also never forget that at the end of time, there shall be rewards, but when that time shall come for each one of us is unknown to us. This is the reason why, as Saint Paul tells us in the second reading, we must go about our daily lives in faithfulness to God. As Jesus says, “the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Mat 24:44)
Today, therefore, let us ask ourselves: What are those things that I place great value on, and how are they affecting my relationship with God? Bearing in mind that how we live our lives here shall determine our eternal reward, how are we using the time that God has given us in this world? How diligent and faithful are we to the things of God? Most importantly, how are we preparing for our end and eternity? According to how we have lived and prepared in this life shall we be rewarded in eternity. As scripture says, when that time comes, some shall awake to everlasting life and some shall awake to everlasting shame and disgrace. Whether we awake to everlasting life or to everlasting shame depends largely on how we prepare for that end time. Hence, let us always keep in mind the admonition of the Psalmist, “O that today you will listen to his voice, harden not your hearts” (Psa 95:7-8). May the grace of God always be with us, that we may never lose sight of our eternal goal. Amen