I really don’t like that over-used phrase “at the end of the day.” You hear it all the time, and it’s one of my least favorite corporate-speak phrases. 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 than it was this time last year?
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 misinterpret all of the things that are happening in the news all over 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. Even we ourselves can use conversion and repentance and a renewed relationship with our God, if we’re honest.
So at the end of the day, are we any different? Have we been changed? Are we responding to the Gospel? Has our relationship with God grown? If not, we need to take the opportunity that next week’s beginning of the new Church year affords us. We can allow Christ to be the King of our hearts and our lives. We can be intimately connected with God through prayer and acts of peace and justice. Seeking the Lord, we need not fear all those powerful earthquakes, famines and plagues. We can instead cling anew to our Lord who earnestly longs for everything to be made right, at the end of the day.