The end is the termination of life or state of something that is already active. When something comes to end it means it has come to the final part of its activity. All through this chapter (Luke 21), Jesus talks about the end of life or the end of the world as the case may be and the final appearance of the Kingdom of God.
From every indication of what Jesus says, the end will be devastating and catastrophic. The most interesting part is that this day will surely take us unawares and by surprise. In this also we can talk about the end of our lives which will surely happen one day. The most intriguing part of it is that nobody knows the day, the hour, how and where it will surely happen. In today’s gospel, Jesus gives us the hint on how we can survive our end or the end of time, despite how terrible it may be. They are:
1.Constant Communion with God
To survive however our end will be, we have to ensure that we are constantly in communion with the Creator. In His presence we will finally give an account of all we have done. When we are truly in communion with Him, what else do we worry? He already knows you love Him and is willing to reciprocate the love back at the end.
We commune with God through our prayer life, reading His word, constant visitation to the Blessed Sacrament and involving God in everything we do. Jesus says today that this is where we draw our spiritual strength to face whatever. Today we underrate the power of prayers. Our reason is that we do not see who we are praying to. But that is why prayer is a spiritual encounter. Prayer is a meeting point between the physical and the spiritual. It possesses a great spiritual force. Never underrate what happens in the spiritual when you kneel to pray.
In the gospel, Jesus did not say we pray once or two but at all times without getting tired. This is the source of strength to face the tragic end and where we can tap the grace to be in the presence of the Son of Man.
2. Be Vigilant
The first statement in today’s gospel says “be watchful”. The vigilante group are those who keep vigil and watch in case of any possible danger. It involves a life of critical observation of the signs that Jesus has already instructed. In verse 7 of this chapter (Luke 21), they ask Jesus how they could be able to dictate the time. Jesus warns them to always watch so that they will not fall. He then proceeds to give the signs of the time.
Failure to keep watch is the easiest way to fall in danger. We are vigilant whenever we are alert to prevent any bad thing from happening to us. To survive our end too we have to be very careful in everything we do.
3. Do not be Carried Away
I visited a family one day. Immediately I entered the compound, I saw the man angrily flogging His children. I have to stop Him and ask Him the reason He is flogging them in such a manner. The man took me to the back of their house and showed me how a dog devastated a pot of meat they kept outside to dry.
He was furious because He told the children to keep watch or at least stay close to the meat to avoid a story. But unluckily for the man, that day was on a day Chelsea was playing Manchester United in a premier league match. They were carried away and forgot the warning to keep watch. They even failed in their promise to obey the father. The father came back unexpectedly and saw that the meat has been devastated by their dog. The worst of it is that the father is a Chelsea fan and Chelsea lost the match to Manchester United. So He combined all the anger and transferred it on the children.
Like the children, sometimes the problem is not that we do not keep watch or that we do not pray sometimes. We try to, but at some points in time, we become carried away by the pleasures of this world. We tend to forget that we have a mission and destination in life.
Many times we forget that our life, in the end, is very short. Because of the comforts and enjoyments in the world, we think that this earth is our final home. Because of the things we see, many tend to lose hope in God. Some think that God is nothing but an imported idea. Like the man came back and was flogging His children, it is at the end of our lives that we sometimes realise how limited our life is. So today Jesus warns us that to truly prepare and survive the end, let us not be carried away by the cares of this life. The message today is that there is a need to be ready at all times despite our busy schedule.
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