Last Sunday after Pentecost
On this last Sunday of the liturgical year, Holy Mother Church puts before our eyes the spectacle of the end of the world, the catastrophic cosmic upheaval and the tragic events which will precede it. A question arises: How does this somber news qualify as Gospel, that is, as “Good News”? In an age when so many are concerned for our “common home”, that is, planet earth, as if we would live here forever, what sense can we really make of the foreboding of the end of time?
It is precisely because planet earth is not our true home that its transformation into the new heavens and the new earth is good news. Our home is eternity, that is what we were made for, Heaven, the place where God reigns forever and is the unending joy of all the elect.
The end of the world is truly good news because it is only when this world does end that we will see the end of iniquity, the end of all the crimes that we are forced to witness on a daily basis, running from the massacre of the unborn to the so-called mercy killing of the elderly; from the modern slavery of children sold into the living hell of pornographic prostitution to the starvation of other children which still goes on in Africa and Asia; from the wilful distortion of truth by those mandated to teach it to the relativistic mentality of those who put God’s revelation of Himself on a par with man-made efforts to experience the divine – in a word, those who put man on God’s altar, which is the “abomination of the desolation” referred to in today’s Gospel, and which St Jerome tells us can signify any form of perverse dogma.
The end of the world is truly good news. For it is only when Christ comes in glory to judge the living and the dead, when He “pulls the curtain” on human history, that there will be an end to sin. Then God will be all in all, that is to say, He will give Himself in glory to all the elect, those who have striven to live a life of virtue. As for those who rejected Him, even they, from the pit of their eternal damnation, they too will bend the knee and acknowledge the One True God. As St Paul writes to the Romans, quoting the prophet Isaiah: “As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me and every tongue shall confess to God” (Rom 14:11).
So we know that in the end God will reign and be acknowledged by all. In the meantime, what are we to do? The Lord tells us in today’s Gospel: When you see the abomination of the desolation standing in the holy place, that is to say, in the Church, flee into the mountains, that is to say, tells us again St Jerome, “we must make our way to the everlasting hills, from which God sheds His light ineffably: we must be on the housetop where the fiery darts of the devil cannot reach us, nor must we come down to take anything out of the house of our former life, nor seek the things that we left behind”. Instead, we must be assiduous at prayer, for the tribulation of those days will be so great, the illusion so well-presented, so as to deceive even the elect. But for their sake, those days shall be shortened.
Let us stand then, dear brothers, firmly awaiting the coming of the Lord. Let us be on our guard against any false Messiah who might preach another Gospel than the one which was received once and for all from the mouth of the Saviour Himself, preached by the apostles and defined by the solemn magisterium of Holy Church. Let us cleave firmly to the traditions of Holy Church, knowing that there, from the lofty mountain of continual prayer and fasting, we shall be safe from the wiles of the enemy and await the coming of the Lord with ardent love.
With the first generation of Christians let us say with all the longing of our being: Marana tha – Come and deliver us from evil, and receive us into Thy Kingdom, the kingdom of life and truth, the kingdom of sanctity and grace, the kingdom of justice, love and peace. Amen. Come Lord Jesus, come quickly.