The End is Coming to all of Us

by Fr. David Halm, C.S.C  |  11/19/2023  |  Pastor's Letter

These final weeks of our Church’s liturgical year (which officially ends this year at sunset on December 2) always have us reading about the Last Days. Last Sunday’s Gospel passage, this week’s and next week’s are all from Matthew 25 and tell the Parables of the wise and foolish virgins (v.1-13), the prudent and fearful servants (v.14-30) and the final judgment (v.31-46). Popular culture has turned the topic of “end-times”, last days, final judgment into either a horror genre or a fringe genre of evangelical Christians (remember the “Left Behind” book series?)

Yet, we followers of Jesus in the Catholic Church also recognize the end is coming (per Jesus we do not know exactly when) and profess every Sunday that “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead…” Similarly, we recognize that each of us will experience our own end-of-earthly-life at death. Every Hail Mary that we pray concludes “pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

So… this should all be reason to be worried, anxious or depressed, right? Exactly the opposite! St. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5: “You yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. When people are saying, "Peace and security, " then sudden disaster comes upon them… But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness… you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.”

Live in the light and stay alert for we know Jesus is coming, exactly what Jesus has been saying in these parables! No one at SJV is rushing along the end-times: there is so much evangelization yet to do (not to mention waiting for the Cardinals to win a Super Bowl!) But we also have no reason to fear them. We wait in joyful hope and keep our eyes on the prize… eternal life with Jesus!

Peace and blessings to all,

Fr. Davidi Halm, C.S.C.