As the liturgical year winds down, the Church wants to be sure that we don?t forget a critical fact ? this life is temporary and will come to an end. Furthermore, at the end of our life, we will be judged and our eternal destiny will be determined. If that?s not enough, Jesus emphasizes in this Sunday?s gospel that we don?t know the day or the hour when this will occur. You don?t need to be a Scripture scholar or theologian to know that this is a serious message. How does it make you feel?
Some will hear this and brush it off, assuming that it won?t happen anytime soon and there are more pressing matters to contend with, such as lunch, football or any number of worldly issues. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those who will hear this and begin to worry or plunge into despair. Both of these positions are extreme and should be avoided.
I believe that the best way to view this message is to treat it as a wake up call. We often lose sight of what really matters in life and focus on what doesn?t matter. We spend a great deal of time of things that may feel good now, but don?t really matter in the long run. By choosing these readings, the Church wants to help us focus on the Lord and eternity. What can we do to help us remember? I think the answer can be found in a verse taken from Sunday?s Responsorial Psalm:
I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. (Psalm 16:8)
Each day, Jesus calls us to follow Him. Doing so will not only ensure that you?ll spend eternity in the right place, but will help you avoid being disturbed by all of the craziness in the world. Spend some time each day in prayer, reading the Bible and being kind to those around you. It will keep you focused and you?ll be in great shape.