Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Just will rejoice in the end

Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!

The readings today are rather frightening for they speak of a reality which most people do not like to think of – and that would be about the end of all things. The prophet Daniel speaks of “a time unsurpassed in distress since nations began until that time.” The Lord Jesus speaks of tribulation after which “the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” The word of God tells us that all things should come to an end. The world is passing away. 

But this is bad news only for those who have set their hearts on the things of the world. But those who love the Lord, that is, “everyone who found written in the book (of life)” will find the readings as a source of great consolation. It is because the end of time will mark the end of tribulation that will bring about the resurrection of the dead and the return of the Lord Jesus who will come “in the clouds, with great glory and power”. The elect will be gathered by the angels from the end of the earth to the end of the sky. This elect “will live forever” and “will shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament.” “At the end of time, the Kingdom of God will come in its fullness. After the universal judgment, the righteous will reign for ever with Christ, glorified in body and soul. The universe itself will be renewed: the Church…will receive her perfection only in the glory of heaven, when will come the time of the renewal of all things. At that time, together with the human race, the universe itself…will be perfectly established in Christ.” (CCC, 1042) “Sacred Scripture calls this mysterious renewal, which will transform humanity and the world, ‘new heavens and a new earth.’ It will be the definitive realization of God’s plan to bring under a single head ‘all things in (Christ), things in heaven and things on earth.” (CCC, 1043) “In this new universe, the heavenly Jerusalem, God will have his dwelling among men. ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (CCC 1044) “Those who are united with Christ will form the community of the redeemed, ‘the holy city’ of God, ‘the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.’ She will not be wounded any longer by sin, stains, self-love, that destroy or wound the earthly community. The beatific vision, in which God opens himself in an inexhaustible way to the elect, will be ever-flowing well-spring of happiness, peace, and mutual communion.” (CCC 1045) 

 As for the cosmos, it will be transformed by Christ: “The visible world is itself destined to be transformed, ‘so that the world itself, restored to its original state, facing no further obstacles, should be at the service of the just’, sharing in their glorification in the risen Jesus Christ.” (CCC 1047) We do not know “the way in which the universe will be transformed. The form of this world, distorted by sin, is passing away, and we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, in which happiness will fill and surpass the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men.” (CCC 1048)

Jesus, I trust in you. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

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