We sure have some scary readings today, don’t we? They’re talking about floods, and fire and brimstone raining from the sky, and someone taken and another left behind. That’s pretty scary stuff when you stop to think about it. But I want you to remember this: we don’t ever have to be afraid, because we always have Jesus. And that’s a huge point. If you read readings like this and you don’t know the rest of the story of the Gospel, it would be scary. But we know that Jesus loved us enough to come and save us from our sins, and so floods and fire and brimstone might be scary, but we know that we can be spared all things like that if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Do we have to be afraid? No. Why? Because we always have Jesus.
The readings that we get toward the end of the year like this are wrapping up the story. We are also wrapping up the Church’s liturgical year and in a couple of weeks we’ll start a new liturgical year, so the Church wants us to hear some of the readings that talk about the end of time. Readings like this can be scary because they talk about how people were persecuted over time, or about how God wants sin to come to an end. Or like in the Gospel today, it talks about how people might miss the second coming of Jesus because they’re so wrapped up in themselves. But if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we don’t have to worry about missing his second coming, because we’ll be right there to see it. Do we have to be afraid? No. Why? Because we always have Jesus.
You may also have heard some people talk about the ancient calendar developed by the Mayan people centuries ago. If you have, then you know that calendar stops on December 23rd of this year, and so many people are thinking that means this is the end of time. Is that true? Probably not. Jesus always told us that there’s no way we’d ever know the exact time that he would return; that the only one who knows is God the Father. So the Mayans aren’t so special that they would know something only God the Father knows. People are afraid of this, but we don’t have to be. We’ll never miss the coming of the Lord if we’re always keeping our eyes fixed on him. Do we have to be afraid? No. Why? Because we always have Jesus.
The point is that God is good. He made us so that we could be with him forever. He is not going to abandon us. The only way we’ll get left out of a relationship with him is if we choose to walk away. But if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, we’ll always be able to rely on God’s goodness. Do we have to be afraid? No. Why? Because we always have Jesus.