A few reflections on this weekend's Gospel
A woman was hurrying home from work. This was her bingo night. Suddenly she spotted this fellow standing on the edge of the pavement holding aloft a placard which read: THE END OF THE WORLD IS NEAR. She went up to him and said,
'You say the end of the world is near.'
'That's right, missus,' he replied.
'But are you sure?
'Quite sure, missus.'
'And you say it's near.'
'Oh, very near.'
'Could you be more precise?'
'This very night, missus.'
She paused for a moment to reflect on this. Then in a voice full of anxiety, she asked, 'Tell me, son. Will it be before or after bingo?'
The world in which we live is a very uncertain one. It seems to lurch from one crisis to another. This uncertainty can cause great fear and anxiety. In the midst of this uncertain and changing world we need something solid to rely on. For a Christian that can mean only one thing: faith in God. The psalm of today's Mass puts it like this: 'I keep the Lord ever in my sight: since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.' And of course we have the words of Jesus: 'Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.'
This is all we have. But then this is all we need. The assurance that things are in God's hands. That his plan for us and the world will be fulfilled. Christ will reign. God will reign. We will reign with him in everlasting life.
Many people have claimed to know when the end of the world will come. Some claim a special revelation from God or Our Lady, and others claim to have calculated it from the Bible. All such claims should be ignored.
Today's Gospel gives us a timely message about the end of the world. Jesus tells us that no one knows when the end will come except the heavenly Father. And with regard to the end – we should be hopeful rather than fearful. God made us for salvation, not for damnation.
Faith gives us the conviction that the world is not heading towards final, irreversible catastrophe. Nor is it headed towards mere ending. It is headed towards fulfilment. By his Easter victory Our Lord has triumphed over evil and death. We should worry more about the end of our own, individual world at death, which is certain, than about the end of the world which is out of our hands.