Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
(II Maccabees 7:1.20-31; Luke 19:11-28)
Doomsday prophets seem eternally upon us. Many forecasted disaster in “Y2K.” Earlier this this year a radio commentator predicted with considerable effect the end of the world in May. Now several authors have written of an apocalyptic happening when the ancient Mayan calendar supposedly runs out in December of next year. The scientific community has produced several life-ending scenarios as well. Showing evidence that a meteorite crashing into the earth millions of years ago caused the extinction of dinosaurs, astronomers declare that a similar occurrence can happen again with little warning. Similarly geologists point to past cataclysmic eruptions inside the earth which are likely to change its face again. More important for us, Jesus in the gospel today hints at what it will be like at the end time.
Jesus is about to ascend to Jerusalem. There he will be crucified and rise from the dead. Now he wants to leave the people with a sense of what to expect after those traumatic events take place. His parable is an allegory about his paschal journey from which he will return to judge his followers. He emphasizes that if they pursue goodness, they will be richly rewarded. On the other hand, if they idly wait for his coming, they will be left empty-handed.
We have no idea when the world will end. Indeed, according to Jesus, only “the Father” can say that. But whenever it takes place, we want to anticipate it by working diligently because Jesus has indicated that his return will take place co-terminally. This means that we are to strive for justice in the world, love among our associates, and peace in our hearts.