34th Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday

The end (of the liturgical year) is upon us, and in today’s Gospel Our Lord encourages us to keep the big picture in mind. It is salutary to ask ourselves once in a while if what we are doing or worrying about right now would matter if the world were to end today. That question is salutary not only for party animals concentrating on a prolonged escape from life and its responsibilities by leaping from thrill to thrill, but also people who bury themselves in their work and their immediate pressing concerns, hoping that down in that foxhole nothing that explodes in life will affect them. Experience shows that reality can get up close and personal at times, and blow up in our faces no matter how much we ignore it or put it far down on our to-do list.

In these last few weeks we’ve considered Our Lord’s invitation to persevere in trials, to hope in the face of evil, to be realistic in acknowledging that challenges will come, to be vigilant, and to have courage in facing and overcoming challenges. It will be a long haul, not easy, and full of lights and shadows, but it’ll be worth it.

Welcome to life on earth. Keep the big picture in mind and you’ll know that good will triumph and that you’re not alone: your fellow believers will support you, and Our Lord himself.

Readings: Daniel 7:15–27; Daniel 3:82–87; Luke 21:34–36.