We are again nearing the end of our Church year, climbing up to the feast of Christ the King and the realization of the Kingdom of God. Our readings become apocalyptic. An apocalypse is an unveiling or revelation. In this case we are talking about the revelation of our true home in heaven. Before we get to heaven, however, we must pass from this life. Death is a very real part of life, and we can’t live in ignorance or fear. This is the reason for the readings we use at Mass these last weeks of the Church calendar.
We hear first from the Prophet Daniel, who has a vision of what will come. For Daniel, living in exile, the vision is full of hope and promise. His people will “escape” from their bondage and be restored by God to their rightful place. They will persevere toward this reward by their upright conduct and their faith in God. God will triumph; evil will be destroyed, and the just will inherit the Kingdom.
Our Gospel builds on this vision of tribulation and the triumph of God’s Heavenly Host. Jesus promises that we will see Him in his glory on that great day, and his angels will gather the faithful into the Kingdom of God. Jesus also reminds us that we don’t know when that day will come, so we must be ready at all times.
May we, as a Church and as individuals, keep our eyes fixed on heaven and live in such a way as to be always ready for the coming of God’s Kingdom, free from fear and full of hope for eternity.