Today’s readings give us the assurance God will be with us all the days of our lives. We will have the ongoing presence of the Holy Spirit of Jesus in our midst – guiding, protecting and strengthening us – in spite of the uncertainty concerning the end times, when Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.
Each year at this time, the Church asks us to meditate on the “last things” – death, judgment, heaven and hell – as they apply to us. The readings invite us to focus our attention on the threefold coming of Jesus, His first coming according to the flesh as a Redeemer, His Second Coming at the end of time, which will bring our salvation to completion and His coming into our lives each time we step forward in genuine love of neighbor.
The first reading from the Book of Daniel, with its vision of the archangel Michael, was originally written to comfort and give hope to the Jewish people, persecuted by a cruel pagan king. In the second reading, the author of the letter to the Hebrews consoles believers suffering from “end time phobia” with the knowledge that Jesus, who sits forever at God’s right hand, is our mediator who forgave our sins and sanctified us.
Today’s gospel from Mark offered hope to the early persecuted Christians, reminding them of Jesus’ words about His glorious return to earth as judge with great power and glory. Let us recognize the “second coming” of Jesus in our daily lives through everyday occurrences, always remembering that Jesus comes at times we least expect.
However, let us not be frightened at the thought of Christ’s Second Coming. Christ is with us every day in the Holy Eucharist, in the Holy Bible and in our worshipping communities. As we watch and wait in a state of readiness, we are asked to live every day of our lives in loving committed service to others.
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St. Mary’s Catholic Church
1414 Gorrell Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
Monday through Friday
8:00 AM – 4:30 PM