Let us remember the approaching redemption.
We know about God that he is eternal. That is why we cannot speak of God as yesterday, today, or tomorrow. With God, it is always now. Sin brought, among other things, the punishment of aging and waiting for the end of life. Therefore, our life is filled with beginnings and endings. We are aware of this even today, at the end of the liturgical year when the texts of today’s readings advise us to look to the future. When a stage ends in our life, it is customary to evaluate this stage before we start the next. Looking back, the past is counted, and we are happy when the evaluation brings a profit. However, God proceeds quite differently. He tells us not to settle for any sense of gain but to keep moving forward. However, he does not want to frighten us with dire predictions but announces that his arrival will be accompanied by something dramatic. Lukáš described it: “There will be signs in the sun and the moon, and in the stars, and on earth the nations will be full of anxiety…” (Luke 21:25).
Let’s stop and learn from what the evangelist Luke wants to tell us. We are given a satisfactory explanation, which the text speaks of dramatically and refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, which represents the Church amid the world. Exegetes of this text see in these words the end of the world and the beginning of the kingdom of God. Others, on the other hand, interpret these words as a reminder that we should always be ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus, which they understand by each person’s death. Let us also realize that the Lord Jesus will come one day. And this time, which we are beginning to experience, should also prepare us for it.
What will happen when that time comes? Who among us does not wish with all his heart for success and justice? This is what the Lord God promised Jacob, and Jeremiah reminds the nation that the Lord will soon fulfill his promise. Each of us desires success. Everyone thinks that someone will bring it to them. Are we not witnessing many turning to false prophets or various others to experience happiness finally? And don’t we see how they invent all kinds of things to taste joy? A person very much needs someone to bring him joy, guide him, and clarify what ings for him. And so the Lord comes, and that is because people long for him, so that the Savior of the world will arise from them. At the same time, he reminds us to be vigilant because, with his arrival, he will surprise many and frighten them wherever they are on earth.
Luke calls him the Son of Man to explain the distance and difference between the Son of Man and us and to show that he possesses all power. The coming of the Lord is presented as a dramatic connection and a quick meeting of man with God. This unifying meeting of man with God is the cause of the emergence of an actual situation where a state of relaxation is,ses, and new freedom is obtained. And don’t the words of Scripture tell us about this when great signs are mentioned? Under the influence of authors who in the Old Testament talk about extraordinary interventions of God in history, the evangelist Luke tells us about cosmic signs: the sun, moon, and stars, but also signs on earth: about the anxieties of nations, the waves of the sea, but also about death from fear.
Of course, none of us will be able to investigate these signs that St. Luke speaks of, yet we have the impression that his fantastic predictions result from his ignorance or his writer’s imagination. And yet, encouraged by the word of this gospel, we should not learn to look at what is being done around us, and hopefully, we would be able to foresee the coming of the Lord Jesus. Let’s find the causes of all shortcomings: diseases, personal failures, international events, or natural disasters. Therefore, whatever calamity, experiment, prediction of war, revolutionary unrest, swift hurricanes, or dazzling lightning were signs of God’s power shaking the world, they would not allow us to sleep in contented tranquility, and therefore he commands us to move forward so that when the end comes, we desire to receive the Lord Jesus. If we lived daily with Jesus, such predictions would not surprise us.
The Lord Jesus always comes, and we would like an immediate response to the invitation. It is only up to us whether this meeting will continue forever. The Lord Jesus is coming, and we generally know his signs. They persuade us, and yet we fear that we will not be able to realize them. Let’s also remember that his arrival does not have to endow us with joy and justice. It can also bring us the opposite if we don’t listen, which is why we receive two sad pieces of advice today.
The first piece of advice: “Take care that your hearts are not weighed down,” and Lukáš specifies what: “with gluttony, drunkenness, and worries about this life” (LK 21:24). This advice does not apply to most of us. After all, who among us considers himself a reveler or an alcoholic? And who among us does not justify his worries, his situation, his health, and his children’s futuredren by claiming that he is only fulfilling his duty? Indeed, it is worth discussing the value of Luke’s advice. However, we see that Lukáš gives us precious advice. We are to fulfill the duties of each day; we are to get rid of the struggle of our hearts. He, with a hard heart, cannot recognize the signs of the coming of the Lord Jesus. Preoccupied with his worries, he shuts himself up and is only interested in himself. He judges all matters, events, and people according to his benefit, which he can achieve from them, and therefore he cannot even hear the Lord Jesus’ address. More than one of us has already experienced the disappointment of our self-enclosedness, the torment of spiritual blindness to everything that does not belong to us. When we wanted to get out of it, we often threw ourselves into the vortex of entertainment to forget about it. Only he will await the Lord Jesus with joy, who cleanses his heart, opens it for Christ, and does not close in on himself!
Luke also offers us a second piece of advice: “Therefore stay awake all the time and pray” (Lk 21:36). If the heart is pure, only then is it able to listen because it is freed from everything that would make it blind and coincides within the words of the apostle Paul, who says how we should live to please God. Then we will not be afraid of meeting the Lord Jesus when the terms of the Gospel will be fulfilled: “When these things begin to happen, stand up straight, lift your heads because your redemption” (Luke 21:18). This idea of constant preparation was peculiarly but well understood by the man from the following example.
After each good deed, he repeated the sentence:
“Another apple was thrown over the fence!”
One day a friend asked him the meaning of these words.
He received the answer: “Not long ago, I invited the boys into the garden and allowed them to eat as much fruit as they wanted. But they were prohibited from taking anything with them or hiding it in their pockets. The boys ate their fill. Meanwhile, I noticed how one of the boys would sometimes catch a nicpleasantple and throw it over my garden fence for you to collect.
And this became a great lesson for me. I began to think like this: Do good to everyone because every good deed you do is like an apple thrown over the fence. When you come out of this life, you will find all your good deeds as you pass into eternity. They will help you get to a blissful life.”
We know about God that he is eternal. However, we only live here on earth for a specific time. We must prove ourselves and get as many merits, graces,d good deeds as possible. Therefore, let’s use the time of life as responsibly as possible. The end of the liturgical year offers us a new impulse. Let’s look to the future with hope and be aware that it may be the last time in our lives. We can see signs around us and even feel them on ourselves.
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