We begin today’s gospel with such darkness and doom, but from it emerges Jesus’ power, glory, the angels—all the infinite beauty of God.
Our Sacred Scriptures, and indeed, our lives, are not all flowers and sunshine. Look no further than Jesus’ scourging and his death on the cross. At the same time, despite the gloom, we know that there is always hope. From the darkness of his crucifixion are the promises of a risen Jesus and the fulfillment of God’s gift that we might have everlasting life in heaven.
What is Jesus’ real message to his disciples here? For me, it is a reminder to stay alert and be aware of what is truly important. We see this communicated in every gospel. For instance, in Luke 12:40, “[you] also must be prepared for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
This does not call for passive awareness; we must prepare for the day we may find ourselves in the Lord’s presence. Stay close to God in prayer. Tune in to the Holy Spirit through quiet contemplation. Give thanks that Jesus gave his life that we might have eternal life. Remember that our Lady is a source of intercession. Frequent the sacrament of the Eucharist when possible. Seek forgiveness in the confessional.
As we take time to reflect on today’s gospel, let us not fear the darkness and doom that may surround us. May we face our tribulations with steadfast faith, recognizing that God is coming for us in power, glory, and love.
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