By Deacon Greg Evers, C.PP.S.
At this point in the liturgical year, we are mere weeks away from marking the end of Ordinary time. A new liturgical year begins with Advent. Our readings at Mass make a turn toward discussing the end times, often using very vivid and dramatic language. Our first reading from the prophet Malachi tells us that the day is coming where the proud and the unjust will be set on fire, “leaving them neither root nor branch.”
Jesus also uses dramatic language in today’s passage from the Gospel of Luke where he says, “the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”
The language we hear in our readings indicates that great changes are coming about and more will be coming in the future. As many of us know, change can be a terrifying thing. We like our comfortable and familiar schedules and structures. They provide a sense of security and control over our lives. In and of themselves, schedules and structures are not bad things, but sometimes they can lead to a sense of complacency and a false sense of security.
As baptized Christians we are called to place our hope in the promises of Jesus. Apocalyptic literature is intended to inspire hope in the face of great conflict and tribulation. The forces of evil and the powers of injustice do not have the final say. “Lo, the day is coming.” Old structures and ways of doing things may crumble and fall, but God’s promises never fail.
As we look at ourselves as a Church and as a new creation here in the United States Province, it is important to remember that God’s promises are eternal and unfailing. Change and turmoil has always been a part of human history and will continue to be a part of us going into the future. Let us not allow changing models, structures, trials and tribulations keep us from being responsive to the signs of our times and the Cry of the Blood in our world.
Deacon Greg Evers, C.PP.S., is in ministry at St. James the Less Church in Columbus.