Our readings have been reminding us that the night is far spent and the day is drawing near. We are called upon today to remain vigilant so that we do not miss the second coming of the Lord. And it is well that we receive that warning today, on the cusp as we are of the new Church year. This is the last day of the Church year and tomorrow, well even tonight, we will begin the year of grace 2022 with the season of Advent. The day draws ever nearer for us.
That day, our first reading tells us, will be a complete reversal of the power structure the world has known. On that day, the power of the evil one, who has destroyed the kingdoms of the world, will be taken away by “final and absolute destruction.” What is left, what will emerge, is an everlasting Kingdom of the people of the Most High. Christ our King, who we celebrated last Sunday, will then present to his Father, “an eternal and universal kingdom, a kingdom of holiness and grace, a kingdom of justice, love and peace.” (From the Preface of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe)
That day might seem far off, but we cannot ignore the proclamation of Jesus from the beginning of his ministry that the Kingdom is here, among us. So we need to be building that Kingdom through our acts of worship, repentance, and charity. We cannot, as he warns in the Gospel today, have that day catch us by surprise like a trap. No, we must be the vigilant ones, praying for strength to survive the tribulation we face every day in an anti-religious society and living the Gospel with integrity every moment of every day.
Tomorrow is the New Year of the Church, so today might be a good time to make some New Church-Year’s resolutions. How will we live differently in the coming year that the Kingdom might grow in our midst?