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Jesus’ coming will dispel darkness
Based on Dn 12:1-3; Heb 10:11-14, 18; Gospel of Mk 13:24-32
“Lead, Kindly Light!”
As autumn winds down, all of nature begins to look asleep, lifeless and dreary, indicating winter is approaching. As the liturgical year ends, we hear about frightening signs of the world’s end.
The reading from Daniel, likely written during the Jewish persecutions (167-164 BC), speaks of Michael the archangel who will fight a great battle against evil. There will be a time of tribulation. But we see the Jewish people’s hope in God’s justice – in his judgment of all people, living and dead, at the end of time.
In Hebrews, Jesus is the perfect high priest whose sacrifice of his body and blood was the final/perfect sacrifice to take away our sins.
Now in heaven at God’s right hand, Jesus waits for the fulfillment of time to gather us to himself for all eternity.
In the Gospel, Jesus says at the end of time the sun will grow dark and fill the world with darkness, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavens will shake by thunder or lightning.
Jesus brought his light into the world. As believers, we know the darkness won’t last. Despite any persecutions and tribulations we may face on earth as his disciples, at the end of time Jesus will come in full power and glory to gather us into his heavenly kingdom.
Jesus tells us that no matter what happens, he will be with us. He says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
The name “Jesus” means “God saves.” Jesus’ death and Resurrection won salvation for us. Jesus promised us heaven with him if we try our best to live as he taught us. Jesus says no one knows the day or hour – “only the Father.” This is not to scare us but to invite us to greater closeness with God. If the Father is the only one who knows when the end of the world is coming, then we should stay as close to the Father as we can, living as children of God.
That is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father.” Made strong with prayer and his grace, if we strive daily to love God and neighbor, we don’t need to be frightened about the end of time.
Jesus, the Light of the World, will come in full glory at time’s end to dispel the darkness, and the world will be dazzling with his love. “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard what God has ready for those who love him.”