The God we meet in Hebrew Scripture is always opposed to evil. Evil does not have a future. It is like dry stubble that will catch fire as it draws near to the sun of God’s goodness. Good people, who endure suffering as they confront evil in themselves and in their times, will be made whole, healed by that same sun of God’s goodness. This is the imagery presented to us in our first reading from the prophet Malachi. As our liturgical year grows to a close, we are hearing imagery about end times, including in our Gospel — which speaks about the terror of these times. Note, however, Jesus’ concern for his listeners, how he reassures them that they will survive: “…but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Sometimes I wonder if anything has changed since Jesus’ days except the scale of things. Instead of empires we have superpowers whose weapons are terrifying, and other lesser nations who also can disrupt the world’s security by decisions they make. We cannot control world events and stay comfortable in our own country. We are right to feel unsettled and fearful. Perhaps we also may feel resentful because we must pay a price for world events not of our causing. Hope comes from the vision of the future that Jesus gives us with his image of the kingdom of justice and peace. This is the true day of the Lord, the true end times, which are coming about through the power of God. We are meant to feel hopeful as we anticipate the peaceable kingdom of the Lord, and reassured by God’s accompanying concern. Next week we will be focusing on this hope for the future as we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King.
— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia