New Testament Eucharistic Readings for Sunday of Proper 28: Year C
2nd Thessalonians 3:6 to 13 and Luke 21:5 to19:
“They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” (Luke 21:7)
This is an apocalyptic (or revelation) sharing about things to come that Jesus is telling them. It is also seen in Mark chapter 13 and Matthew chapter 24. The End Times (Eschaton) is coming. The time is in Kairos, God’s time, not Chronos, our calendar time.
Sometimes it is not so much about what Jesus says, but what we ask in the first place, that really says what’s important to us. In the case of the End of all things (Eschotology), the question is, when, not if. There is some sense that if it is not soon, weeks, months or even a few years, we have time to make things right, being the procrastinators that we are. But I think we miss the point.
The real point is not waiting to start, but to start now. I can remember when I was asked to do something that required physical movement; I would jokingly say that I have already started moving in ways that couldn’t be observed by the human eye. I would say that my feet have already started shifting in my shoes in preparation for standing. I was trying to assure the person that I was starting to do the task even though I could not be seen moving; funny me.
The truth is that any step to improve our spiritual lives, no matter how small, is a step toward being prepared for the End Times of which, we have no idea of when. All we have to do is believe it is coming and then act accordingly. When the End Time comes, acceptance is not so much a matter of what you “have done,” or “did not do,” but rather, where your heart is at that time.
We must start now, right now, even with tiny, almost indiscernible steps, that inch us ever closer to being saved. And no matter how impossible it seems we must never give up; because while it is impossible for us, nothing is impossible for God. We just have to keep on keeping on. Jesus says that, “It is by our endurance that we will gain our souls.”
We should never ask Jesus “when.” We just need to start right now making ourselves better every day. We do a little bit at a time. It’s not setting a goal. It’s just adding more and more righteousness as we go. When the eschaton (the end of all things as we know it) comes, a new Promised Land comes as well. This is where (and when) not a hair of our heads will be lost. This takes perseverance. And it takes prayer. So as the profit Malachi says, “But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings,” (Malachi 4:2). I can’t help it. Let me play with these words. “But for you who revere my name the “Son” of Righteousness shall rise, with healing in His hands.” Forgive me Malachi, it’s the Christian in me.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love and to serve, and to teach others to live and to serve also, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John