8th Week of Ordinary Time, Friday, Year II

Peter in today’s First Reading invites us to consider how we would live if we knew the world was ending soon. With the coming of Christ, as many of the writers of Sacred Scripture attest, we’re in the last days, and age of fulfillment when he comes again. We await the Lord’s return in glory and a fundamental change in things for the better. If we are prepared and vigilant we will rejoice in that better world. Some people prepare for the end of the world as survivalists, digging in, closing themselves off, prepared to eke out an existence in a world that they foresee as even less forgiving than the world in which they live. Others simply follow the daily routine, hoping to not make waves or be caught up in anyone else’s. Some prefer to burn out rather than fade away, in Spirit of Mardi Gras debauchery before oblivion.

Peter invites us today to not face that thought with paranoia, denial, or superficiality, but with dedication and service. We don’t know the day or the hour, so it is as much as question of attitude as it is one of preparation. It will not be easy; there will be trials, and we will feel tested, but the results will make it all worthwhile. Christians live striving to outdo one another in charity and service, identifying and using the unique gifts God has given them to help edify their brothers and sisters, knowing that helps pave the way to the better world inaugurated by Christ.

Let’s ask the Lord today to help leave the old world of sin and futility behind us, and strain toward the new world of justice and love that will continue to unfold with the help of our dedication and service.

Readings: 1 Peter 4:7–13; Psalm 96:10–13; Mark 11:11–26. See also 8th Week in Ordinary Time, Friday, Year I.