I really don’t like that over-used phrase “at the end of the day.” But I can’t help but think about this tired old phrase when I read the Scriptures for the Liturgy in these last days of the Church year. Because the Liturgy is calling our attention to the fact that the end of the year is near, and asking us to reflect on our experience in the year gone by. Have we been changed? Are we responding to the Gospel? Is our relationship with God any different?
God is always ready for the harvest, with the sickle at the ready. But our Scriptures today take care to point out that we must not be overly-anxious to jump the gun. We may hear of Nostradamus prophecies, or revelations from some very obscure mystic that lead us to fear the end is upon us. Lots of people will read the newspaper with dark glasses to misinterpret all of the things that are happening in the world. But God wants us to know that he is still at work, redeeming the lost, calling those who have strayed, binding up those who are broken. So much has to happen before the end of days, so many still need to be redeemed.
But at the end of the day, are we any different? Have we been changed? Are we responding to the Gospel? Is our relationship with God any different? If not, we have a new opportunity next week as we being a new Church year. We can allow Christ to be the ruler of our lives. We can be intimately connected with God through prayer and acts of peace and justice. Seeking the Lord, we need not fear the great winepress of God’s fury. We can instead cling anew to our Lord who, as the Psalmist says, “shall rule the world with justice and the peoples with his constancy.”